After the devastation wrecked by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, the media highlighted the fact that the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting provided a better forecast than did the U.S. operational global models, and brought attention to the need within the United States to improve global forecast models. The U.S. Congress responded with the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, commonly referred to as “Sandy Supplemental funding”, which provided an opportunity to bring together the nation’s global weather modeling community and to focus them on a common goal: developing the world’s best medium-range weather forecast model by the end of this decade.
The High Impact Weather Prediction Project (HIWPP) is one of the larger projects funded by the Disaster Relief Appropriations. Led by NOAA/OAR’s Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) in Boulder, it is a 3-year project funded at $12.9M, with the goal of improving time-zero to two-week prediction of nature’s most dangerous storms, such as hurricanes, floods, and blizzards, over the whole globe.
The full article can be found in the Spring 2015 CIRA Magazine.
Photo Credit: Hurricane Sandy, October 28, 2012; image captured by GOES-13 satellite. NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon.