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Bitter Wind Chills Gradually Easing in the Northeast; Pacific Storms Approach the West

Winds and bitter wind chills will moderate as a strong low pressure system slowly pulls away from the northeast. An approaching Pacific system will spread lower elevation rain and heavy mountain snow across the West, especially in the Sierra-Nevada mountains. High winds from strong high pressure in the Great Basin will produce high winds for portions of Montana. Read More >

NCEP 2023 Quarter 1 Newsletter



WRN FLYERS Host Live Workshop for General Aviators

The WRN FLYERS (FLYing Education, Resources, and Safety) Team recently hosted its first live workshop specifically for the GA (General Aviation) community in the Kansas City area since the pandemic began in 2020. This workshop focused on turbulence with presentations from operational meteorologists from AWC, ZKC Center Weather Service Unit, and the NWS office in Topeka. The first group of talks focused on low level and high level turbulence mechanisms and detection. In addition to the operational meteorologist perspective, two guest speakers were featured. First up was Mark Boguski, a local instructor pilot, who talked about turbulence impacts on general aviation interests. AWC’s Executive Officer from the NOAA Corps, CDR John Rossi, closed out the workshop discussing the hazards and challenges of working aircraft in turbulence to complete science missions.

Perhaps the highlight of the conference was the face-to-face interaction that hasn’t been able to take place in over two years. AWC and the FLYERS look forward to continued collaboration and additional live workshops in 2023 to promote aviation weather hazard awareness and education.

Attendees received continuing education credit through the FAA’s WINGS pilot proficiency program. WINGS is designed to reward pilots for continued education and includes weather training. If you are interested in learning more about WRN Aviation Ambassadors and FLYERS, WINGS, or general aviation outreach, please contact the team at More information about WRN Aviation Ambassadors can be found on the WRN website.



Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) Upgrades the Global Forecast System (GFS)

NCEP implemented the Global Forecast System (GFS) Version 16.3 on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at 1200 GMT. The GFS was upgraded to improve internal flight planning and global aviation safety; ameliorate an issue with the snow depth prediction; and improve the use of observations and add newly available types. GFS V16.0 overestimates the accumulated snow depth for mixed precipitation events with marginal temperatures and under predicts for events with very cold temperatures. The undesired snow depth predictions are associated with Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) microphysics and the improper density used in the Noah land surface model for different frozen precipitation types. This issue is being addressed by providing proper density to various frozen hydrometeors in the land surface model. The GFS Unified Post Processing (UPP) system and the World Area Forecast System (WAFS), the GFS physics in the Noah land surface model, and the Grid-point Statistics Interpolation (GSI) Analysis are also upgraded. The UPP and WAFS upgrades increased the vertical/temporal resolution and forecast range on 0.25-degree WAFS products, and the post-processing changed to create continuous bucket precipitation product for WGNE (Working Group for Numerical Experiments). The upgrades in the data assimilation system are to improve the use of existing observations, add newly available observations, enhance the Near Sea Surface temperature (NSST) analysis, and fix several bugs.

GFSv16.1 overestimated SNOD (accumulated Snow Depth) during the February 2022 winter storm due to cloud ice, graupel, and freezing rain being incorrectly tallied in the SNOD totals. This caused SNOD totals to be even larger than the WEASD (Water Equivalent of Accumulated Snow Depth) totals, which include snow and sleet. GFSv16.3 corrects the density of graupel and freezing rain and reduces the SNOD overestimation. Reducing the amount of precipitating cloud ice is a science change that will be included in the GFSv17 upgrade. Graphics were produced by NCEP/EMC.



TITLE OF ARTICLE: NCEP Central Operations Network Enhancements ARTICLE:

The NCEP Central Operations (NCO), Network and Security Branch (NSB) completed two highly complex projects to 1) improve the network redundancy for OneNWSNet and 2) upgrade the web hosting network throughput in College Park and Boulder; the two major data centers. Before this work, OneNWSNet was not capable of routing Internet traffic through a secondary exit point. NSB created the ability to failover Internet access to the secondary data center in Boulder. This effort took several months of analysis, architectural review and planning, and the modification of hundreds of lines of configuration in order to be successful. This enormous achievement not only improves the resiliency and redundancy of OneNWSNet, but it also lays the foundation for future network optimization and decreases the likelihood of significant network impact during future maintenance. Additionally, NSB increased the NCO web hosting capacity from 40 gigabits per second (Gbps) to 100Gbps. The catalyst for taking on this effort was that over time as user demand grew, a bottleneck was formed that would prevent all of IDP (Integrated Dissemination Program) from operating in one data center at a time. Several project dependencies were identified before NSB was able to upgrade this capacity, including software upgrades on all core networking infrastructure. After months of scheduling, planning, and executing upgrades, NSB was able to seamlessly transition to new hardware and improve the network throughput for IDP.



2022 CO-LABS Governor's Awards for High-Impact Research - Technology Transfer Winners

The annual CO-LABs ( Governor's Awards for High-Impact Research celebrate the brilliant ground-breaking discoveries and innovative research from Colorado’s federally-funded laboratories and institutions. This year, a team of SWPC and EMC scientists won the Technology Transfer Award for their work transitioning the physics-based WAM-IPE model into NOAA Space Weather operations. The first of its kind, the coupled Whole Atmosphere Model and Ionosphere Plasmasphere Electrodynamics Model (WAM-IPE Model) was moved into operations in July 2021. This model helps predict how Earth’s upper atmosphere will respond to solar and geomagnetic conditions as well as the perturbations from the lower atmosphere. The implementation of this model represents the culmination of more than a decade of work and serves as an exemplary Research to Operation (R2O) success story. The model enhances the Space Weather Prediction Center’s space weather forecasting capabilities by assisting forecasters in providing better information to the public regarding potential impacts from solar storms and enables mitigation across varied economic sectors. Its real-time and forecast neutral density fields will be available for orbit prediction and space situational awareness purposes, and the ionospheric outputs from the model will also be used to support the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) space weather alerts. As part of the award, in addition to receiving recognition from the Colorado Governor at a reception on December 14th, a short 3-minute video highlighting the science was created by Fireside Production studio.

Caption: Screen capture from the video created for the 2022 Governor's Awards for High Impact Research by Fireside Production studio. Top from left to right, Dr. George Millward, Dr. Timothy Fuller-Rowell, Dr. Zhuxiao Li. Bottom center, Dr. Tzu-Wei Fang.

Caption: The WAM-IPE space weather award team from left to right, Dr. Timothy Fuller-Rowell, Dr. Tzu-Wei Fang, Mr. Adam Kubaryk, Dr. George Millward, Dr. Raffaele Montuoro (EMC), and Dr. Zhuxiao Li. Denver, Colo, Dec. 14, 2022.


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