Keynotes

Tim Heller 
Tim Heller - Chief Meteorologist - ABC 13 - Houston, Texas

Challenges of Forecasting and Communicating Impacts of Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey wasn’t supposed to be a major hurricane. Early forecast models showed the storm dissipating over southern Mexico. But as is often the case, the early models were wrong. In addition to tracking a rapidly developing major hurricane, meteorologists along the Gulf coast were tasked with forecasting the impacts of a stalled storm expected to produce unbelievable amounts of rain. This presentation looks at the challenges of communicating an unprecedented meteorological disaster.





Dr. Eric Bruning - Associate Professor - Atmospheric Scrience - Texas Tech University

Meteorological imagery from the GOES-16 Geostationary Lightning Mapper







 
Jonathan J. Gourley - Research Hydrologist - NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory

The Flooded Locations and Simulated Hydrographs project (FLASH): Present and future
 
Texas is no stranger to record rainfall events or devastating flash floods. While these events may become more frequent and intense in the future, there are new tools available to
monitor and forecast them. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of existing FLASH products that are available to NWS forecasters through LDM access. This summary will discuss product thresholds and optimal use during flash flooding events. The second part of the presentation will address the “so what’s next with FLASH?” question. I will show some result from our latest efforts to transition FLASH into a fully probabilistic system, called Pro-FLASH. The probabilistic framework will accommodate rainfall forcings from ensembles of short-term quantitative precipitation forecasts (including Warn-on-Forecast QPFs), providing the potentialto increase lead time.

Dr. Louis J. Wicker - Senior Research Meteorologist - NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory
NOAA's Warn on Forecast Program:  Probabilistic Prediction of Severe Weather using High-Resolution Models
                                
In 2010, NOAA funded a program at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman OK to determine whether high-resolution storm-scale weather models, continually being updated with surface, radar, and satellite data, could help forecasters extend warning lead times for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and other hazardous weather associated with severe convection.  Over the last 8 years researchers at NSSL developed an experimental ensemble prediction system that appears to have skill, in some situations, toward meeting that goal. NSSL’s Experimental Warn-on-Forecast System for Ensembles, or NEWS-E, ingests new radar and satellite data every 15 minutes and produces a new 6-hour forecast every 30 minutes using an 18 member ensemble forecast using 3 km grid spacing (same as NOAA’s HRRR model).  For the past 2 years, NEWS-e has been run in realtime each May and its forecasts are evaluated by other scientists and NWS forecasters in the Hazardous Weather Testbed located at the National Weather Center in Norman.  This process has helped us learn a great deal about the use of probabilities in storm-scale numerical weather prediction, what types of severe weather NEWS-e can best predict, and how forecasters will use this information in their warning process to the public. This type of prediction system may useful enough to be implemeted by the NWS in their operational portfolio sometime in the mid-2020’s.

Jerry Cotter - Chief of Water Resources - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District