The 10th Prospectus Development Team (PDT-10) of the U.S. Weather Research Program was charged with identifying research needs and opportunities related to the short-term prediction of weather and air quality in urban forecast zones. Weather has special and significant impacts on large numbers of the U.S. population who live in major urban areas. It is recognized that urban users have different weather information needs than do their rural counterparts. Further, large urban areas can impact local weather and hydrologic processes in various ways. The recommendations of the team emphasize that human life and well-being in urban areas can be protected and enjoyed to a significantly greater degree. In particular, PDT-10 supports the need for 1) improved access to real-time weather information, 2) improved tailoring of weather data to the specific needs of individual user groups, and 3) more user-specific forecasts of weather and air quality. Specific recommendations fall within nine thematic areas: 1) development of a user-oriented weather database; 2) focused research on the impacts of visibility and icing on transportation; 3) improved understanding and forecasting of winter storms; 4) improved understanding and forecasting of convective storms; 5) improved forecasting of intense/severe lightning; 6) further research into the impacts of large urban areas on the location and intensity of urban convection; 7) focused research on the application of mesoscale forecasting in support of emergency response and air quality; 8) quantification and reduction of uncertainty in hydrological, meteorological, and air quality modeling; and 9) the need for improved observing systems. An overarching recommendation of PDT-10 is that research into understanding and predicting weather impacts in urban areas should receive increased emphasis by the atmospheric science community at large, and that urban weather should be a focal point of the U.S. Weather Research Program.
*National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.
+Envair, Pasco, Washington.
#National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Sterling, Virginia.
@Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
&Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington.
**Environmental Techniques Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado.
++Duke Energy, Charlotte, North Carolina.
##San Jose State University, San Jose, California.
@@National Weather Center, Kansas City, Missouri.
&&The Weather Channel, Atlanta, Georgia.
***U.S. Department of Transportation, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
+++Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, D.C.
###City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.