UFS Weather Model Image of moving Nests

The Hurricane Analysis and Forecast System (HAFS)

The last several hurricane seasons have been active with records being set for the number of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic basin.  These record-breaking seasons underscore the importance of accurate hurricane forecasting. Imperative to increased forecasting skill for hurricanes is the development of the Hurricane Forecast Analysis System or HAFS. To accelerate improvements…

NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data provided courtesy of Chris Elvidge, NOAA National Geophysical Data Center. (NASA / Earth Observatory)

JEDI: The Future of Data Assimilation

The process by which observational data is brought into models is called data assimilation (DA). The Joint Effort for Data assimilation Integration (JEDI) is the next generation, unified DA framework under collaborative development between NOAA and cross-agency partners through the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation (JCSDA). JEDI will allow for a faster development and…

Forecasters in room looking at weather radar on multiple monitors

The 2023 Spring Experiment

At the height of the spring severe weather season, the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed hosts multiple real-time, forecasting, and warning experiments to evaluate the operational utility of new science, technology, and products. NOAA NSSL, the NOAA National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center  and the NOAA NWS Norman Forecast Office lead the effort. The Spring Experiments are a unique opportunity…

Bill Lapenta

Researchers and Forecasters Team Up to Improve Forecasts in the New Hurricane and Ocean Testbed

After a year and a half of concerted effort between NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC), Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), and other NOAA offices, including the Weather Program Office, the Hurricane and Ocean Testbed (HOT) has been successfully re-named (from the Joint Hurricane Testbed) and re-launched in the newly designed William M. Lapenta Laboratory, named in…

2021 Saildrone Hurricane wing-3853

Saildrones Track Hurricanes to Gather Data for Forecast Improvement

In partnership with NOAA, Saildrone Inc. is deploying seven ocean drones to collect data from hurricanes during the 2022 hurricane season with the goal of improving hurricane forecasting.  For the first year, two saildrones will track hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. One of the biggest challenges to hurricane forecasting is predicting rapid intensification, when hurricane…

WindBorne 3D profile over globe

WindBorne Weather Balloon Reaches New Heights in Atmospheric Measurement Capabilities

The Observations Program at the Weather Program Office has partnered with WindBorne Systems, Inc. to fund the development of an advanced weather balloon. This technology offers a low cost platform enabling collection of surface to stratosphere weather data in lesser-sampled regions. Long Range Sampling and Dynamic Altitude Control With an average flight time of 7…

VORTEX Satellite

VORTEX-USA Awards

WPO works in coordination with the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) in Norman, Oklahoma to award projects that ​​explore and refine novel predictors of tornadoes, and to improve the communication of tornado forecasts and risk to tornadoes in the U.S. This year competition award total* for the 4 selected projects equals $1.36 M in grants.…

Taken from the Hazardous Weather Testbed at the National Weather Center in Norman, OK. Photo Credit: NOAA NSSL

Weather Testbed Awards

Testbeds are unique collaborative spaces that allow researchers and forecasters to work together to improve weather prediction systems. They accomplish this by working alongside each other to integrate new observing systems into models, test and streamline data assimilation methods, test weather model improvements, and strategize new developments. The Weather Program Office funds research projects and…