Experience in performing real-time mesoscale numerical prediction forecasts using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) over Colorado for a winter season on high-performance workstations is summarized. Performance evaluation is done for specific case studies and, statistically, for the entire winter season. RAMS forecasts are also compared with nested grid model forecasts. In addition, RAMS precipitation forecasts with a simple “dump bucket” scheme are compared with explicit, bulk microphysics parameterization schemes. The potential applications and political/social problems of having a readily accessible, real-time mesoscale forecasting capability on low-cost, high-performance workstations is discussed.

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*Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

**Department of Statistics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

+Current affiliation: National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.