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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 01/20/2011

NOAA-NWS begins Winter Weather Experiment

By Steve Tracton

Despite major advances in scientific understanding and the development of computer-based weather models, there remains much room for improvement. Anyone who has followed this season's winter storm predictions has, no doubt, observed this. While there never will be perfect forecasts due to chaos (i.e. the butterfly effect), there is considerable opportunity for more accurate predictions and better estimates of associated levels of confidence in hazardous winter weather systems.

To address these issues, the National Center for Environmental Prediction's (NCEP) Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) - part of the National Weather Service (NWS) - recently embarked on what it refers to as the Winter Weather Experiment (WWE). The WWE, which will extend through February, is designed to identify promising techniques and tools most useful in addressing three especially challenging problems in Day 1 and 2 predictions:

1) Precipitation type and amount
2) Mesoscale (i.e. small scale) snowbands
3) Dealing with the ever present degrees of uncertainty in forecasts

Continue reading at Capital Weather Gang >>>

By Steve Tracton  | January 20, 2011; 12:00 PM ET
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