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National Centers for Environmental
Prediction (NCEP) Update
October 26, 2014
Dennis W. Staley
Executive Officer, NCEP
Outline
• Who We Are
• Were We Have Been
• What We Have Achieved
• Where We are Going: Drivers for Change
• NCEP’s Role in Impact-Based Decision Support
Services
• FY15 Key Activities
• NCEP Labor/Management Success Stories
• Summary
2
Who We Are: National Centers
for Environmental Prediction
426 FTE
200 Contractors
40+ Visiting Scientists
6 NOAA Corps Officers
$125M Budget
NCEP Central Operations
College Park, MD
(Supercomputers in
Reston & Orlando)
Aviation Weather Center
Kansas City, MO
Climate Prediction Center
College Park, MD
Environmental
Modeling Center
College Park, MD
Ocean Prediction Center
College Park, MD
Space Weather
Prediction Center
Boulder, CO
Storm Prediction Center
Norman, OK
Mission
 Provide reliable, timely, and accurate
analyses, guidance, forecasts, and
warnings for the protection of life and
3property and the enhancement of the
national economy
National Hurricane Center
Miami, FL
Weather Prediction Center
College Park, MD
Vision
 Nation’s trusted source, first alert, and
preferred partner for environmental
prediction services
Who We Are: What NCEP Delivers
“Provision of Services from the Sun to the Sea”
 Solar Monitoring, Warnings and






Forecasts
Climate Seasonal Forecasts
El Nino – La Nina Forecast
Weather Forecasts to Day 7
Extreme Events (Hurricanes,
Severe Weather, Snowstorms,
Fire Weather)
Aviation Forecasts and Warnings
High Seas Forecasts and Warnings

Model Development, Implementation and Applications for Global and
Regional Weather, Climate, Oceans and now Space Weather

International Partnerships in Ensemble Forecasts

Data Assimilation including the Joint Center for Satellite Data
Assimilation

Super Computer, Workstation and Network Operations
4
4
Where We Have Been
5
What We Have Achieved
Top Accomplishments 2009-2013
NCO
• Transitioning to New Facility (NCWCP) with No Loss of Products
• Transitioning to Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputer
System With a New Operating System
• Improving On-Time Delivery of Supercomputer Products: 99.99%
SWPC
• Implementing First Operational Space Wx Prediction Model: WSA-ENLIL
OPC
• Changing From Text Only Forecasts to Gridded and Text Forecasts for
the Marine Offshore Forecasts
CPC
• Developing a National Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) Capability to
Advance the Skill of NOAA’s Seasonal Predictions
EMC
• Implementing New Models and Upgrades: CFSv2; Hybrid En-3DVAR;
RTOFS; HWRF; RAP; HRRR; LDAS; Ensembles (GEFS, SREF, NAEFS)
6
What We Have Achieved
Top Accomplishments 2009-2013
WPC
• Developing Ensemble-Based Gridded Probabilistic Snow and Freezing
Rain Forecasts--used by WFO Sterling (WRN Pilot Project) to Issue
Experimental Winter Snowfall Probabilistic Products
AWC
• Strengthening Partnership with FAA by Placing DSS Meteorologists at
FAA National Command Center in Warrenton, Va
• Establishing Robust and Active Aviation Weather Testbed
NHC
• Leading in the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program (HFIP) and Joint
Hurricane Testbed (JHT) Activities Resulting to Improvements in Hurricane
Track and Intensity Forecasts
SPC
• Establishing Routine Collaboration with National and Regional FEMA;
FEMA Liaison at SPC in 2014
• Partnership Exercised Successfully in Historic 2011 Tornado Season
7
NHC Official Forecast Performance
Atlantic Basin
Track forecast improvements
• Errors cut in half over past 15 yrs
• 10-yr improvement - 48 hrs forecast of
today is as accurate as our 24 hrs
forecast in 2000
Intensity forecast improvements
• Significant improvements since HFIP
Program established (2009)
• HFIP 5-Year Goal Achieved
8
Where We are Going:
Drivers for Change
•
New NCEP Director
•
NWS Strategic Plan Focused on Building a “Weather-Ready Nation”
and “Improved Decision Support Services”
•
New NWS HQ Reorganization and Budget Restructuring
•
Sandy Supplemental is Game Changer in All Aspects of the End-toEnd Forecast Process (i.e. Observations, Modeling, Computing,
Forecast Services, etc)
•
External Reviews
•


UCAR Advisory Committee for NCEP 2013/2014 Report
Weather Services for the Nation: Becoming Second to None

Forecast for the Future: Assuring the Capacity of the NWS (NAPA
Report, 2013)
New NCEP Strategic Plan
9
NCEP Alignment with
DOC/NOAA/NWS Priorities
Weather-Ready Nation Embraced by NAPA: “We Can’t do it Alone”
DOC Strategic Plan
#3 – Environment
3.2 Improve
preparedness, response,
and recovery from
weather and water
events by building a
Weather-Ready Nation
#4 -- Data
4.3 Collaborate with the
business community to
provide more timely,
accurate, and relevant
data products and
services for customers
NOAA Shared Priorities
#2 - Evolve the NWS
a. Build a Weather-Ready Nation
by holding ourselves
accountable for the accuracy of
our forecasts and ensuring
people know how to react to
that information
b. Create a National Weather
Service based on a fully
integrated field structure that
provides nationally consistent
products and services, manages
innovation, and accelerates
research to operations across
NOAA
NWS Strategic Goals
1) Improve Weather ImpactBased Decision Support Services
2) Improve Water Forecasting
Services
3) Enhance Climate Services and
adapt to climate-related risks
4) Improve sector-relevant
information in support of
economic productivity
5) Enable environmental forecast
services supporting healthy
communities and ecosystems
6) Sustain a highly skilled,
professional workforce
10
Sandy Supplemental
• Provided $466M to NOAA to Address Sandy
Mitigation ($87M to NWS)
• Key Areas:
– Observations
– Computing Capacity
– Model Upgrades
– Dissemination: Ground Readiness
– Storm Surge Enhancements
✓ A “Game Changer” for Enhancing
the Entire Forecast Process
✓ Offers Opportunity to Accelerate
Major Advancements to the
Operational Computer and Model
Infrastructure
✓ Monthly Tracking and Reporting
Required
– Training; Including Social Science
– JPSS Gap Mitigation
– Facilities Repairs
11
Setting the Stage for Change:
2012 NAS Reports and
2013 NAPA Report
Strategic
Tactical
Develop a Framework to
Guide Change, and begin a
deliberate Pace of Change
Embrace “Weather-Ready
Nation” and six Strategic goals –
but emphasize we can’t do it
alone
Energized
Stakeholder
Engagement/
External advice
Restructured/
transparent budget
follows function
Energize private sector
engagement/enhance secondary
value chain
(NWSHQ a good place to
realign first)
Centralized Change
Management/IT Development
Solidify NWSEO
relationship
Enhanced capacity for testing
and demonstration –
(O2R/R2O) - Training
Improve Service Consistency
Across the NWS - IDSS
“Open Weather and Climate”
support for Commercial and
Research Sectors
Improve innovation
management/Find efficiencies in
infrastructure
NCEP is Key Player in Execution
12
12
UCAR Advisory Committee
for NCEP: Major Messages
• Revise/Update NCEP Strategic Plan
• Take advantage of opportunities associated with
move to the NCWCP; VSP Program
• Workforce Management: Hire the Best and Brightest
• “Second to None” Charge: Apply to NCEP Products,
Services and Modeling
• Use Science-Based “Trade-Space” Priority Setting for
Production Suite Resources – Shrink # of Models
• Adopt a Unified Coupled Modeling Framework
• Strengthen Interactions with Research Community
13
New NCEP Strategic Plan:
Timeline
Strategic
Planning
Kickoff –
June 2,
2014
Local Office
Team
Meetings –
External
Stakeholder
Workshop –
through July
and August
2014
October
2014
Draft Plan
Formulation
– October
through
December
2014
Draft Plan
delivered to
NCEP
DirectorEarly 2015
14
The Director’s
DRAFT Vision for NCEP
NCEP is the trusted source
of weather, water, climate and space weather
guidance, forecasts, warnings and analyses
used to protect life and property, stimulate
economic growth and improve the quality of every
day life.
NCEP employees are a valued national asset,
using science, innovation, and collaboration
to create and deliver accurate environmental
products and services-----on time, every time, all the
time spanning the Sun to the Sea….
15
Strategic Areas for NCEP
in the Next 5 Years
• A major player in building and sustaining a Weather Ready Nation
•
•
•
•
•
and providing Impact-Based Decision Support Services
Strategically expand science/service areas based on user
requirements:
• 3-4 weeks forecasts (closing the gap between weather and climate)
• Extending lead time for high impact events
• Incorporate a full earth system science approach
• Strategically transition research into operations (R2O/O2R)
Deliver (with partners) the WRN integrated field structure
Deliver world class operational numerical guidance required to
support the WRN
Deliver timely, reliable, consistent and accurate
products/services
Deliver high capacity IT infrastructure support, high performance
computing and technical management services
16
NCEP’s Role in Impact-Based
Decision Support Services
17
IDSS Support at NCEP
National
Federal
Partners
Internal NOAA
Sector Specific
Support
National Media
International
18
Internal NOAA-NWS-NCEP
NOC
NHC
SPC
ROCs
WPC
AWC
Serve key role to raise local
situational awareness
19
Unique Internal NOAA
Ecological Modeling
FY15 Milestone: Issue marine forecasts
for the Antarctic to support NOAA’s
National Marine Fisheries Service in
Antarctica.
FEMA / DHS Briefings
FEMA Liasons
Daniel Porter
Monthly or Regular Basis and
Special Partner Briefings in
Advance of Major Events
Somer Erickson
Matthew Green
21
Special Sector Support
(National Aviation Met.)
• Ensuring Weather
Situational Awareness
• Collaborating with
CWSU/WFO/AWC
• Adding Insight to Static NWS
Products (e.g., Uncertainty)
• Scheduled and On-Demand
(Event-Driven) Briefings
• Impact-Based Decision
Support Services
22
National Media
23
International
NCEP executes over half of
NWS International travel



NCEP Training Desks
South America / Tropical
Africa / Monsoon
Scientific and Service
Engagement
Satellite Coordination
Global Model Coordination
Specialized Support
Japanese Tsunami
Haiti Earthquake
24
DSS Challenge: How to Better
Integrate NWS Field Structure
•
•
•
•
NCEP and WFOs have a responsibility to collaborate
NCEP forecasts are improved by WFO interaction
WFO’s forecasts are improved by NCEP interaction
End result is a more consistent, accurate, and trusted
NWS forecast and DSS message
• Need common culture of collaboration
– NCEP needs to earn WFO trust/respect
– ‘MY’ forecast needs to becomes ‘OUR’ forecast
• Need common analysis and verification
• Need common tools (AWIPS II, Sit Aware tool)
• Need clear roles and responsibilities
25
Opportunities
(ROCs)
NOC
NHC
SPC
WPC
AWC
CPC
OPC
SWPC
ROCs
ROCs could help facilitate NCEP-WFO
collaboration on a consistent DSS message
-Monitor and anticipate issues
-Proactively set up collaboration calls
26
*
Opportunities
(Probabilistic DSS)
Risk of
Event
Risk
Tolerance
Take
Action
Action
Cancel
Flights
Risk
Tolerance
40%
Chance of
Heavy Snow
45%
NWS worked with FAA
and Industry to define
impact thresholds
Criteria for DCA
Event
Slight
Modt
High
Prob >40%
Prob >40%
Prob > 40%
3-h Snow
> 0.2”
> 0.75”
> 1.5”
24-h Snow
> 1”
> 2”
>6”
> 0.01”
> 0.05”
< 1 mi
< ½ mi
3-h Fz Rain
Visibility
< 3 mi
27
Opportunities
(Probabilistic DSS)
Provide a reasonable best / worst-case scenario
Most Likely
Maximum
Minimum
(5”)
(13”)
(1”)
DC
DC
DC
Expect at least this much
Official NWS Forecast
Potential for this much
Local Emergency Manager: “This is one of the most important new initiatives from NWS
we have seen for Emergency Managers in years.”
28
Opportunities
(Integrating Social Science)
Storm Surge
Convective Outlook
Hazards Simplification
29
Rapid Refresh and HRRR
NOAA hourly updated models
13km Rapid
Refresh (RAP)
(mesoscale)
V2 in ops: 2/25/14
3km HRRR
(storm-scale)
RAP
HRRR
High-Resolution
Rapid Refresh
Scheduled NCEP
Implementation Sept 2014
30
*
HRRR Benefits
• Increased resolution (3km) of basic fields like
temperatures, winds, visibility, etc to resolve
mesoscale features
• Explicitly allows convection, allowing for storm-scale
structure; shows skill at predicting storms with
strong rotation, bow echoes, etc.
• Provides hourly updates at high resolution
• Out to 15 hours
• Will be a key part of future NCEP hi-res ensemble
*
31
High Impact Prediction Needs:
Higher Resolution Models
40 km RUC 1998
(1.5x resolution)
20 km RUC 2002
(3x resolution)
13 km RUC/RAP 2005
(4.6x resolution)
3 km HRRR 2014
(20x resolution)
High Impact Prediction Needs:
Higher Resolution Models
*
33
High Impact Prediction Needs:
Higher Resolution Models
Hurricane Arthur
*
34
Observations
Used
High Impact Prediction
Needs:
Higher
Resolution Models
13-km
6hr forecast
HRRR 6hr forecast
07 June 2012 5 PM EDT
Reality
Aircraft must
Navigate Around
Thunderstorms
3-km HRRR
Explicit
Convection 6 hr forecast
13-km RAP
Parameterized
Convection 6 hr forecast
Accurate Storm
Structure
No Storm Structure
Accurate Estimate of
Permeability
No Estimate
of Permeability
35
June 16 “Twin Tornado”
Supercell in northeast Nebraska
*
36
14z + 7hr
16z + 5hr
15z + 6hr
17z + 4hr
Clear trend
in hourly
cycle for
enhanced
risk in
37
*
northeast NE
FY15 Key Activities
• Upgrade WCOSS – 3X Compute Capacity
• Award New WCOSS Contract
• Develop Experimental Weeks 3-4 Temperature and
Precipitation Outlook
• Develop Experimental Week-2 Heat Watch Outlook
Product
• Operationalize National Multi-Model Ensemble
(NMME) System
• Expand SPC Watch Coverage from 20nm Offshore to
60nm Offshore
• Enhance SPC Convective Outlooks for Days 1,2,3 –
Add Two New Risk Categories
38
SPC Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3
Convective Outlooks
• Added 2 new risk categories:
- "Marginal"
- "Enhanced“
• Implemented October 22
NEW
OLD
FY15 Key Activities
• Develop Experimental Day 4-7 Winter Outlook Product
• Develop Experimental 72-h Winter Weather Watch
Recommender on an Internal Web Site for WFO
Evaluation/Feedback
• Expand Winter Weather Desk to 24X7 Coverage to
increase collaboration and consistency with field offices
• Implement Model Upgrades: GFS, GDAS, GEFS,
HWRF
• Develop Seasonal Severe Wx Outlook
• Develop Whole Atmospheric Model for Space Wx
• Implement Experiment Tropical Storm Surge
Watch/Warning Product
40
FY15 Key Activities
• Implement Experimental Aviation Probabilistic
Convection Guidance Aimed to Improve Consistency
• Implement Experimental Aviation Probabilistic
Guidance for Cloud and Visibility
• Begin Issuing Marine Forecasts for the Antarctic to
Support NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service in
Antarctica
• Finalize and Implement New NCEP Strategic Plan
• Conduct Center Reviews through the UCAR External
Review Team
41
NCEP Labor Management
Success Stories
• Ocean Synergy Team: Established in 2003
– To improve ocean forecasts through collaboration and
increased operational effectiveness of the three ocean
forecast offices (OPC, NHC, HFO)
– Improve product quality and consistency across boundaries
– Coordinate on future improvements
– Increased efficiency for technical developments
– Discussion Underway to Expand to AK
• Timeliness Team: Improved Center Timeliness from
Mid 70% in Early 2000’s to 98% Today
• Joint Labor/Management Training
• NCEP Strategic Plan
42
Summary
• NCEP is aligned with DOC, NOAA and NWS Strategic
Planning Goals
• NCEP is a Critical Component to NWS Success &
Underutilized Resource
• NCEP is Committed to Maintaining a Strong Labor
Management Relationship
• NCEP Key Strategic Areas Over Next Five Years
–
–
–
–
Leader in integrated field structure and DSS
World class modeling center
World leader in high performance computing
Expand science/service areas (3-4 weeks forecasts; full ESS
approach; National IDSS)
43
Thank You
44
Appendix
45
Summary of Employee Input
46
Sandy Supplemental
Projects
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Operational Supercomputing
Global & Ensemble Model Upgrades
Global 4-D Hybrid Data Assimilation
Tropical Cyclone Relocation in NAM
Observing System Experiments
HPC Software Management and Integration
(Operational Model Implementation
Support)
Blends of Global Models
GOES Data Assimilation and Product
Development
Cloud-Based Radiance Data Assimilation
Atmospheric Motion Vectors
Near-shore Wave Prediction System
SLOSH & Gridded Winds
Storm Surge Guidance
Storm Surge Training
Social Science & Science Infusion Training
Decision Support Services Training
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Facilities – WFO Hardening
Facilities – WFO Repair
Facilities – NOAA Weather Radio Facilities
Rain Gage O&M
Automated Surface Observations
Radiosondes (Upper Air)
Caribbean Radar Observations
Dual Pol NEXRAD Enhancements
Multi-Radar, Multi-Sensor Systems (R2O)
Aircraft Observations
Buoys
NWS Data Availability
NOAA Weather Wire Service & NOAA
Weather Radio
Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest
System (MADIS)
Ground Readiness Project
Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project
(R2O)
47
SCIENTIFIC CHALLENGE
Short Range Weather
Prediction
Hurricane Track
Forecasts
(out to 5 days)
Public Gridded
Forecasts
(out to 7 days)
Mid-Range
Forecasting
Week 3-4
Temperature
Outlooks
(1 & 3 Months)
?
Severe Weather
Outlook
(out to 8 days)
Precipitation
Outlooks
(1 & 3 Months)
Seasonal Drought
Outlook
(1 Month & Seasonal)
Temp/Precip
Outlooks
(6 -10, 8 -14 days)
DAYS
Long Range Climate
Prediction
WEEK
S
MONTHS
National Climate
Assessment
(Years and Decades)
48
YEARS
DECADES
CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER
(Current and Experimental Products)
CURRENT
PRODUCT
Precipitation Probability
(8-14 Day Outlook)
Probability of Above
Probability of Below
2015 EXPERIMENTAL
PRODUCT
Average Precipitation
(3-4 Weeks Outlook)
Probability of Above
Probability of Below
POTENTIAL
FUTURE
PRODUCTS
Extreme
Precipitation
Potential
High Risk of Extreme
Precipitation
49
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