R2O Update from the CSTAR Tropical Cyclone Winds Team

Snapshot of the TCWindGust tool and its output.

Snapshot of the TCWindGust tool and its output.

Reid and Jonathan provided an update on the CSTAR Tropical Cyclone (TC) winds project to members of the NWS Tropical Hazards Team and the NWS Eastern Region Headquarters. The update included information on the development of training materials for forecasters, the development and testing of new GFE tools and methodologies, and the exploration of potential improvements to the vortex model used within the TCMWindTool.

The Research to Operations (R2O) activities that the CSTAR tropical cyclone winds team have been focused on are shown below:

  1. Development of new training materials and conceptual models for forecasters challenged with forecasting TC winds and wind gusts. These materials will be based on past experience and a great deal of verification and climatology work completed as a part of this CSTAR project.
  2. Development of basic GFE quality assurance tools to support forecasters and allow them to more readily ensure that individual one or three hourly forecast grids of Winds and Wind Gusts collectively agree with the forecaster’s intent.  The two tools are the MaxWind tool and MaxWindGust tool.
  3. Development of new GFE tools that add additional science and consistency for forecasters creating Wind and Wind Gust grids in TC environments that are simple and support existing methodologies. Examples include the TCWindReduction tool and the TCWindGust tool.
  4. Development of a new and improved methodology to create Wind and Wind Gust grids in TC environments. The proposed methodology is centered on using a WindReductionFactor grid and a WindGustFactor grid instead of editing individual Wind and Wind Gust grids directly after the TCM guidance is received.
  5. Longer range efforts that will require additional research to evaluate potential improvements to the TCMWindTool and external support to implement the possible changes into GFE. Investigations are underway to provide an alternate vortex model in the TCMWindTool and a next generation TCMWindTool with dynamic reductions and corrections.

After some discussion, the CSTAR Tropical Cyclone Winds Team will work with the NWS Tropical Hazards Team to develop new training materials to support forecasters using the TCMWindTool (item 1) and continue to develop and test new GFE tools and methodologies (items 2-4) for possible inclusion in the future. Additional research and evaluation is required for item 5.

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