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VAWS: HRRR-AK: Status and Future of a High-Resolution Forecast Model for Alaska

August 23, 2017 @ 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm AKDT

Speakers: Trevor Alcott (NOAA) and Jiang Zhu (GINA/UAF)

The High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) Alaska model (HRRR-AK) is a new weather forecast model that uses a specially configured version of the Advanced Research WRF (ARW) model to predict atmospheric and surface conditions over all of Alaska, at 3-km grid spacing, out to 36 hours.

HRRR-AK is cycled every 3 hours at NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL), assimilating many novel and conventional observations to produce a “best” initial atmospheric state, and benefiting from recent improvements to the existing contiguous-US HRRR physics suite. However, Alaska lies at the functional fringe of geostationary satellite coverage and is notorious for a scarcity of conventional surface observations.

To address this issue, ESRL has partnered with the Geographic Information Network of Alaska (GINA) group at University of Alaska Fairbanks to explore the effective use of polar orbiting satellite data.

This talk will cover the current configuration of HRRR-AK, known strengths and weaknesses, and ongoing work at GINA toward assimilating new satellite datasets for improved HRRR-AK forecasts.