Multi Radar and Multi-sensor (MRMS) system: Description, Results, and Future Plans

Ken Howard


The national Multi Radar and Multi-sensor (MRMS) 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 MRMS research and development (R&D) are 1) to develop a meteorological platform for assimilating different observational networks toward creating high spatial and temporal resolution multi-sensor QPEs for flood 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 MRMS system has been implemented ( 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 MRMS system and the experimental products are evaluated against the operational products as well as independent gauge observations in real time