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David O. Blanchard
and
Kenneth W. Howard

A brief overview of the 13 June 1984 Denver hailstorm is presented. This storm produced very large hail in a few locations and copious amounts of small hail over a large area. Documentation of the storm includes data from a surface mesonetwork, cooperative observers and storm spotters, dual Doppler radar, profiler winds, radiosonde, lightning detectors, and photographs of smoke tracers. Integration of these data sets provides an interesting and informative look at this destructive storm.

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Kenneth R. Knapp
,
Michael C. Kruk
,
David H. Levinson
,
Howard J. Diamond
, and
Charles J. Neumann

The goal of the International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS) project is to collect the historical tropical cyclone best-track data from all available Regional Specialized Meteorological Centers (RSMCs) and other agencies, combine the disparate datasets into one product, and disseminate in formats used by the tropical cyclone community. Each RSMC forecasts and monitors storms for a specific region and annually archives best-track data, which consist of information on a storm's position, intensity, and other related parameters. IBTrACS is a new dataset based on the best-track data from numerous sources. Moreover, rather than preferentially selecting one track and intensity for each storm, the mean position, the original intensities from the agencies, and summary statistics are provided. This article discusses the dataset construction, explores the tropical cyclone climatology from IBTrACS, and concludes with an analysis of uncertainty in the tropical cyclone intensity record.

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Charles L. Dempsey
,
Kenneth W. Howard
,
Robert A. Maddox
, and
Daniel H. Phillips

The National Severe Storms Laboratory, the Salt River Project (SRP), and the Electric Power Research Institute have been involved in a multiyear tailored collaboration (TC) research project. The project was jointly supported by all three agencies and had the goal of exploring potential benefits that the power industry could realize by incorporating new weather information, resulting from the National Weather Service's modernization program, into their operational decision-making process. The SRP, which is one of the nation's largest public utilities and located in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, served as a test bed for a variety of experimental techniques that could easily be emulated in the future. Activities during this TC were focused upon weather-related problems experienced during the summer monsoon months when thunderstorms can threaten or impact SRP's operations on a daily basis. Weather information and special forecasts were introduced to and shared with several of SRP's operational divisions through the course of this TC; their degree of utilization and subsequent improvements to SRP's operational efficiency are summarized in this paper.

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Ami T. Arthur
,
Gina M. Cox
,
Nathan R. Kuhnert
,
David L. Slayter
, and
Kenneth W. Howard

The National Basin Delineation Project (NBDP) was undertaken by the National Severe Storms Laboratory to define flash-flood-scale basin boundaries for the country in support of the National Weather Service (NWS) Flash Flood Monitoring and Prediction (FFMP) system. FFMP-averaged basin rainfall calculations allow NWS forecasters to monitor precipitation in flash-flood-scale basins, improving their ability to make accurate and timely flash-flood-warning decisions. The NBDP was accomplished through a partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center (EDC). The one-arc-second (approximately 30 m)-resolution digital terrain data in the EDC's National Elevation Dataset provided the basis for derivation of the following digital maps using a geographic information system: 1) a grid of hydrologically conditioned elevation values (all grid cells have a defined flow direction), 2) a grid of flow direction indicating which of eight directions water will travel based on slope, 3) a grid of flow accumulation containing a count of the number of upstream grid cells contributing flow to each grid cell, 4) synthetic streamlines derived from the flow accumulation grid, and 5) flash-flood-scale basin boundaries. Special techniques were applied in coastal areas and closed basins (basins with no outflow) to ensure the accuracy of derived basins and streams. Codifying each basin with a unique identifier and including hydrologic connectivity information produced a versatile, seamless dataset for use in FFMP and other national applications.

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Alan Gerard
,
Steven M. Martinaitis
,
Jonathan J. Gourley
,
Kenneth W. Howard
, and
Jian Zhang

Abstract

The Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) system is an operational, state-of-the-science hydrometeorological data analysis and nowcasting framework that combines data from multiple radar networks, satellites, surface observational systems, and numerical weather prediction models to produce a suite of real-time, decision-support products every 2 min over the contiguous United States and southern Canada. The Flooded Locations and Simulated Hydrograph (FLASH) component of the MRMS system was designed for the monitoring and prediction of flash floods across small time and spatial scales required for urban areas given their rapid hydrologic response to precipitation. Developed at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in collaboration with the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS) and other research entities, the objective for MRMS and FLASH is to be the world’s most advanced system for severe weather and storm-scale hydrometeorology, leveraging the latest science and observation systems to produce the most accurate and reliable hydrometeorological and severe weather analyses. NWS forecasters, the public, and the private sector utilize a variety of products from the MRMS and FLASH systems for hydrometeorological situational awareness and to provide warnings to the public and other users about potential impacts from flash flooding. This article will examine the performance of hydrometeorological products from MRMS and FLASH and provide perspectives on how NWS forecasters use these products in the prediction of flash flood events with an emphasis on the urban environment.

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Ronald L. Holle
,
Raúl E. López
,
Kenneth W. Howard
,
Kenneth L. Cummins
,
Mark D. Malone
, and
E. Philip Krider

An isolated lightning flash at 1436:52 UTC 11 February 1996 struck and destroyed a house in Burlington, Connecticut, injuring an occupant of the house. A flash detected simultaneously by the National Lightning Detection Network was within 1.1 km of the house. The flash was separated from any other flash by several hours and hundreds of kilometers and occurred during winter. Positive charge was lowered to ground by the flash, as has been found in previous studies of winter storms. Its estimated peak current of +76 kA was stronger than most positive flashes and nearly all negative cloud-to-ground flashes for the entire year in the same area. The incident is compared with other previously documented lightning casualty and damage statistics during wintertime for Connecticut and other regions of the United States. The importance of the flash is described in relation to the resulting material damage and personal injury, the handling of insurance claims, the use of flash data in forecasting and warning applications, and personal safety.

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Pao-Liang Chang
,
Jian Zhang
,
Yu-Shuang Tang
,
Lin Tang
,
Pin-Fang Lin
,
Carrie Langston
,
Brian Kaney
,
Chia-Rong Chen
, and
Kenneth Howard

Abstract

Over the last two decades, the Central Weather Bureau of Taiwan and the U.S. National Severe Storms Laboratory have been involved in a research and development collaboration to improve the monitoring and prediction of river flooding, flash floods, debris flows, and severe storms for Taiwan. The collaboration resulted in the Quantitative Precipitation Estimation and Segregation Using Multiple Sensors (QPESUMS) system. The QPESUMS system integrates observations from multiple mixed-band weather radars, rain gauges, and numerical weather prediction model fields to produce high-resolution (1 km) and rapid-update (10 min) rainfall and severe storm monitoring and prediction products. The rainfall products are widely used by government agencies and emergency managers in Taiwan for flood and mudslide warnings as well as for water resource management. The 3D reflectivity mosaic and QPE products are also used in high-resolution radar data assimilation and for the verification of numerical weather prediction model forecasts. The system facilitated collaborations with academic communities for research and development of radar applications, including quantitative precipitation estimation and nowcasting. This paper provides an overview of the operational QPE capabilities in the Taiwan QPESUMS system.

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Jian Zhang
,
Kenneth Howard
,
Carrie Langston
,
Steve Vasiloff
,
Brian Kaney
,
Ami Arthur
,
Suzanne Van Cooten
,
Kevin Kelleher
,
David Kitzmiller
,
Feng Ding
,
Dong-Jun Seo
,
Ernie Wells
, and
Chuck Dempsey

The National Mosaic and Multi-sensor QPE (Quantitative Precipitation Estimation), or “NMQ”, system was initially developed from a joint initiative between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Severe Storms Laboratory, the Federal Aviation Administration's Aviation Weather Research Program, and the Salt River Project. Further development has continued with additional support from the National Weather Service (NWS) Office of Hydrologic Development, the NWS Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services, and the Central Weather Bureau of Taiwan. The objectives of NMQ research and development (R&D) are 1) to develop a hydrometeorological platform for assimilating different observational networks toward creating high spatial and temporal resolution multisensor QPEs for f lood warnings and water resource management and 2) to develop a seamless high-resolution national 3D grid of radar reflectivity for severe weather detection, data assimilation, numerical weather prediction model verification, and aviation product development.

Through about ten years of R&D, a real-time NMQ system has been implemented (http://nmq.ou.edu). Since June 2006, the system has been generating high-resolution 3D reflectivity mosaic grids (31 vertical levels) and a suite of severe weather and QPE products in real-time for the conterminous United States at a 1-km horizontal resolution and 2.5 minute update cycle. The experimental products are provided in real-time to end users ranging from government agencies, universities, research institutes, and the private sector and have been utilized in various meteorological, aviation, and hydrological applications. Further, a number of operational QPE products generated from different sensors (radar, gauge, satellite) and by human experts are ingested in the NMQ system and the experimental products are evaluated against the operational products as well as independent gauge observations in real time.

The NMQ is a fully automated system. It facilitates systematic evaluations and advances of hydrometeorological sciences and technologies in a real-time environment and serves as a test bed for rapid science-to-operation infusions. This paper describes scientific components of the NMQ system and presents initial evaluation results and future development plans of the system.

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David Parsons
,
Walter Dabberdt
,
Harold Cole
,
Terrence Hock
,
Charles Martin
,
Anne-Leslie Barrett
,
Erik Miller
,
Michael Spowart
,
Michael Howard
,
Warner Ecklund
,
David Carters
,
Kenneth Gage
, and
John Wilson

An Integrated Sounding System (ISS) that combines state-of-the-art remote and in situ sensors into a single transportable facility has been developed jointly by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Aeronomy Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA/AL). The instrumentation for each ISS includes a 915-MHz wind profiler, a Radio Acoustic Sounding System (RASS), an Omega-based NAVAID sounding system, and an enhanced surface meteorological station. The general philosophy behind the ISS is that the integration of various measurement systems overcomes each system's respective limitations while taking advantage of its positive attributes. The individual observing systems within the ISS provide high-level data products to a central workstation that manages and integrates these measurements. The ISS software package performs a wide range of functions: real-time data acquisition, database support, and graphical displays; data archival and communications; and operational and posttime analysis. The first deployment of the ISS consists of six sites in the western tropical Pacific—four land-based deployments and two ship-based deployments. The sites serve the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (COARE) of the Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere (TOGA) program and TOGA's enhanced atmospheric monitoring effort. Examples of ISS data taken during this deployment are shown in order to demonstrate the capabilities of this new sounding system and to demonstrate the performance of these in situ and remote sensing instruments in a moist tropical environment. In particular, a strong convective outflow with a pronounced impact of the atmospheric boundary layer and heat fluxes from the ocean surface was examined with a shipboard ISS. If these strong outflows commonly occur, they may prove to be an important component of the surface energy budget of the western tropical Pacific.

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Phillip B. Chilson
,
Winifred F. Frick
,
Jeffrey F. Kelly
,
Kenneth W. Howard
,
Ronald P. Larkin
,
Robert H. Diehl
,
John K. Westbrook
,
T. Adam Kelly
, and
Thomas H. Kunz

Aeroecology is an emerging scientific discipline that integrates atmospheric science, Earth science, geography, ecology, computer science, computational biology, and engineering to further the understanding of biological patterns and processes. The unifying concept underlying this new transdisciplinary field of study is a focus on the planetary boundary layer and lower free atmosphere (i.e., the aerosphere), and the diversity of airborne organisms that inhabit and depend on the aerosphere for their existence. Here, we focus on the role of radars and radar networks in aeroecological studies. Radar systems scanning the atmosphere are primarily used to monitor weather conditions and track the location and movements of aircraft. However, radar echoes regularly contain signals from other sources, such as airborne birds, bats, and arthropods. We briefly discuss how radar observations can be and have been used to study a variety of airborne organisms and examine some of the many potential benefits likely to arise from radar aeroecology for meteorological and biological research over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Radar systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated with the advent of innovative signal processing and dual-polarimetric capabilities. These capabilities should be better harnessed to promote both meteorological and aeroecological research and to explore the interface between these two broad disciplines. We strongly encourage close collaboration among meteorologists, radar scientists, biologists, and others toward developing radar products that will contribute to a better understanding of airborne fauna.

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