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CIMMS and NSSL Researchers Make Advances Toward Storm-Scale Forecasts of Supercells

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Researchers from the Cooperative Institute of Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS) and the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) recently published a study in the international “Advances in Meteorology” journal highlighting important advances toward making storm-scale forecasts of supercells.  Researchers conducted two storm-scale experiments using model jumping off points from either a fixed physics (same sets of physics schemes) or a multiple physics (different combinations of physics schemes) mesoscale ensemble system to see which method better predicts a tornadic supercell storm. Their results show that the ensemble with jumping off points from the multiple physics ensemble forecast provides more realistic forecasts of the significant tornado parameter, dry line structure, and near surface variables. The probabilities of strong low-level updraft helicity from the multiple physics ensemble forecast correlate better with observed tornado and rotation tracks than probabilities from fixed physics ensemble forecast. 

Background: Researchers from the Cooperative Institute of Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS) and the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) recently published “The Impact of Mesoscale Environmental Uncertainty on the Prediction of a Tornadic Supercell Storm Using Ensemble Data Assimilation Approach” in the international Advances in Meteorology journal. To view article, click here.. 

Significance: This work suggests that incorporating physics diversity across the ensemble can be important to successful probabilistic storm-scale forecast of supercell thunderstorms, which is the main goal of NOAA’s Warn-on-Forecast initiative.
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