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EMC > Hurricanes > R & D


HWRF Current Research and Development Projects Include:


The Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) was initially developed without operational HWRF. At EMC, HYCOM was tested coupled to HWRF for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season. The HWRF/HYCOM system is set to run in parallel for the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season with transition to operations planned for 2011.

Physics Upgrades

Gravity wave drag parameterization had a neutral effect on Atlantic track and intensities for a select group of storms from the 2008 and 2009 hurricane seasons. However, there was a significant improvement in track and intensity in the East Pacific basin. For the 2008 and 2009 hurricane seasons, HWRF had a strong positive intensity bias. Sensitivity experiments were conducted for air-sea exchange coefficients, and these experiments ultimately showed that using observation-based Cd (Powell 2003) and Ch (CBLAST 2007) values improved HWRF performance. Gravity wave drage parameterization and the modified Cd and Ch values are included in the most recent version of HWRF.

Noah Land Surface Model (LSM) Coupling

The HWRF currently uses the GFDL Slab LSM in which initial soil moisture if fixed in time, runoff response and streamflow are not predicted, and surface land temperature is predicted. The Noah LSM has the ability to predict soil moisture, soil temperature, land surface skin temperature, land surface evaporation, sensible heat flux, and total runoff. Preliminary results of HWRF coupled with the Noah LSM show improvement in track errors. The coupled HWRF/Noah LSM is to be run in parallel for the 2010 hurricane season.

Doppler Radar Assimilation

Airborne Doppler radar can provide high resolution observations of a hurricane's inner core which, in turn, can produce vortex initialization that better represents actual hurricane structure and improved hurricane forecasts. In addition to airborne Doppler radial velocity data, pseudo-MSLP, conventional data, and satellite data are assimilted in a test version of HWRF. This version of HWRF with airborne Doppler data assimilation is to be run in parallel for the 2010 hurricane season.

HWRF Demo Projects

A high resolution HWRF is being tuned with a 9km outer and 3km inner domain resolution. The hi-res HWRF will be run in parallel for the 2010 hurricane season. A version of HWRF with a third nest capability is also being tuned at EMC which will feature a 27 km outer domain resolution, 9km inner nest resolution, and 3km 3rd nest resolution.