email facebook twitter

WPC's Hydrometeorological Test Bed Home Page
Current Testbed Experiments


Annual Flash Flood and Intense Rainfall Experiment (FFaIR)


The Flash Flood and Intense Rainfall (FFaIR) Experiment is a NOAA and National Weather Service (NWS) testbed experiment that has been run annually since 2012. It is part of the Hydrometeorological Testbest (HMT) at the Weather Prediction Center (WPC). FFaIR is under the umbrella of the NWS Research-to-Operations-to-Research (R2O2R) activities and strives to provide useful information to the NWS and our partners about the utility of operational and experimental guidance and tools. Each summer, FFaIR brings together people from across the weather enterprise, from forecasters to model developers to academia to IDSS partners, helping to foster collaboration and understanding among the various disciplines. Participants work together in a pseudo-operational, testing and evaluating new capabilities and using new guidance or tools to forecast extreme rainfall events and its impacts to determine their utility in the forecasting process.. Using the experimental data in real time allows for additional insight into the performance of the guidance and tools that statistical analysis might not show, helping to provide feedback to developers beyond traditional verification methods. FFaIR is ever evolving, in both how the experiment is run (in-person to hybrid) and the activities done during the experiment. One overarching goal of the team is to push the limits of guidance and products to see how well they perform under extreme events.



Annual Winter Weather Experiment (WWE)


In support of the ongoing mission to improve NWS products and services for winter weather, HMT has been conducting the annual Winter Weather Experiment (WWE) since the 2011-2012 winter season. The WWE provides collaborative research to operations (R2O) experience bringing together members of the forecasting, research, and academic communities to evaluate and discuss winter weather forecast challenges. Recent WWE successes include improvements to the National Blend of Models, incorporation of snowsqualls to the mPING crowd-sourcing data app, and increased discussion on the creation of winter specific verification metrics.


Past Testbed Activities


The Extended Range Forecast Experiment (ERFE)


In the Extended Range Forecast Experiment (ERFE), WPC-HMT scientists evaluate numerous probabilistic and ensemble based guidance tools, for a variety of sensisble weather elements, and collaborate with WPC Hazardous Weather Forecasters with the aim of better indentifying hazardous and impacting weather in the Days 3-7 period. Since June 2020, the ERFE Hazards sessions have been an in-house effort featuring the testing and evaluation of assorted tools, along with a one on one training component with WPC Hazards Forecasters in a real time environment. This is a year round, all seasons effort which explores numerous anomalous weather situations over the U.S. Cluster analysis tools derived from 500 hPa EOF analysis as well as QPF clusters whose principal components are derived from regional bias corrected and downscaled QPF are evaluated in the experiment sessions. Exploring hazardous weather scenarios featuring multiple anomalous sensisble weather elements using probabilisitc guidance and depiction is a critical interest of ERFE.



The Day 8-10 Experiment


The Day 8-10 component of the Extended Range Forecast Experiment (ERFE) was initially a NGGP project to establish a baseline skill at Days 8-10 for existing operational datasets, assess the skill and utility of experimental guidance, and the skill of daily forecasts in the Day 8-10 period. New and experimental versions of NCEP guidance were evaluated, and new Day 8-10 forecast products were developed highlighting high-impact hazardous events. From January 2017 through February 2020, the Day 8-10 Experiment was conducted remotely year round with partners from the academic research community, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC), and the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC). The participant focus has shifted to identification of impactfull weather hazards using WPC developed cluster analysis for Days 8-10 and the North Pacifc Jet (NPJ) canonical tool. Both the GFS and ECMWF ensemble systems are evaluated using the NPJ tool.



Object-Oriented Verification

In collaboration with NOAA-HMT and the Developmental Testbed Center (DTC), HMT-WPC is exploring the use of object-oriented verification. The goal of this type of verification is to better account for spatial discontinuities between the forecast and observed precipitation. HMT-WPC is using the Method for Object-Based Diagnostic Evaluation (MODE) tool for the verification of model and WPC forecaster QPF. The MODE tool is part of the Model Evaluation Tools (MET) verification package developed by DTC. This verification is available to view here.



Rossby Wave Packet Tool for Medium Range Forecasting (CSTAR)


A Rossby Wave Packet Tool is being tested by WPC medium range forecasters during the 2012-13 cold season. Rossby Wave Packets are a quantitative way to depict the group velocity of a train of multiple troughs and ridges, and their propagation. The development of the tool is the result of a CSTAR funded collaborative effort between WPC and Stony Brook University. Extreme weather events have been found to be associated with wave packets, and one of the main goals of this work is to identify and forecast wave packet episodes using output from multiple global models. Introductory training was provided to HPC forecasters in August 2011.



Model Displacement Biases (COMET Partners)


HPC collaborated with researchers from Texas A&M University as part of a COMET Partners project that focused on determining whether operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) models have a consistent displacement bias in the predicted location of elevated warm season convective systems. Using the Method for Object-Based Diagnostic Evaluation (MODE) tool, Texas A&M researchers objectively confirmed forecasters' subjective impression that there is a north bias in the location of elevated convection systems in both the NAM and the GFS. A report detailing the project's findings can be found here.