UAH atmospheric researcher wins $530,000 to improve next-generation weather forecasting models
Telephone line: Lise Junod
Newswise – An assistant professor of atmospheric and earth sciences at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), part of the University of Alabama System, has been awarded $530,139 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Weather Program Office to improve forecast accuracy of high wind events such as Storm lines and hurricanes are within the next generation of weather forecasting models for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Federated Forecasting System.
Dr. Xiaomin Chen is the principal investigator of the funded award, titled Unification of Boundary Layer and Shallow Cumulus Mass Flows under Vertical Wind Shear for Unified Prediction System Models. Chen’s project, a collaboration with two atmospheric scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Miami, was one of eight awarded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Community Modeling Innovations Competition.
With two years of funding, Chen and his team will support the development and advancement of improving the accuracy and reliability of NOAA’s Federated Prediction System models. Specifically, the team will study how changing wind speed and direction, known as vertical wind shear, from the surface to 3,000 feet in altitude affects turbulent eddies, or air vortices, that transport heat, momentum and mass upward to form shallow cumulonimbus clouds during high-wind events.
“Vertical wind shear can dampen the upward motion of turbulent vortices, thus weakening the vertical development of cumulonimbus clouds in the storm,” Chen says. “The weak turbulent motion and upward cloud current affect the structure of the storm and change its intensity.”
It is strange that the small, puffy white cumulus clouds that accompany massive storms such as hurricanes affect the destructive power of those storms. Creating a better mathematical scheme to represent these clouds, whose smallest sizes are within the limits of what today’s models can capture, will likely lead to better predictions of storm impact.
The researcher points out that “the effect of vertical wind shear on reducing turbulent mixing is missing or not well represented in current weather forecast models.” “Forecast errors can occur as a result.”
To ensure that NOAA’s next generation weather prediction models can accurately represent the growth and development of shallow cumulus clouds in high-wind events, Chen and his team plan to incorporate planetary boundary layer and shallow cumulus properties into a unified computer code within a next-generation hurricane. From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Forecast model, hurricane analysis and forecasting system. This new model will help better predict high wind conditions.
“Cyclone environments are characterized by strong vertical wind shear, which is ideal for exploring the effect of vertical wind shear on shallow cumulonimbus clouds,” Chen says.
The team hopes to examine retrospectives from the upcoming 2024 North Atlantic hurricane season to determine whether new computer code within the Hurricane Analysis and Forecasting System more accurately predicts the path and intensity of hurricanes.
“If this computer code can accurately represent shallow cumulonimbus clouds under strong vertical wind shear within the Hurricane Analysis and Forecasting System, we may be able to use this code within other UPS forecast models to better predict other high wind events such as: “Thunderbolt lines.”
(tags for translation) Newswise