Progress and challenges with Warn-on-Forecast

David J. Stensrud, Louis J. Wicker, Ming Xue, Daniel T. Dawson, Nusrat Yussouf, Dustan M. Wheatley, Therese E. Thompson, Nathan A. Snook, Travis M. Smith, Alexander D. Schenkman, Corey K. Potvin, Edward R. Mansell, Ting Lei, Kristin M. Kuhlman, Youngsun Jung, Thomas A. Jones, Jidong Gao, Michael C. Coniglio, Harold E. Brooks, Keith A. Brewster

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


The current status and challenges associated with two aspects of Warn-on-Forecast-a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research project exploring the use of a convective-scale ensemble analysis and forecast system to support hazardous weather warning operations-are outlined. These two project aspects are the production of a rapidly-updating assimilation system to incorporate data from multiple radars into a single analysis, and the ability of short-range ensemble forecasts of hazardous convective weather events to provide guidance that could be used to extend warning lead times for tornadoes, hailstorms, damaging windstorms and flash floods. Results indicate that a three-dimensional variational assimilation system, that blends observations from multiple radars into a single analysis, shows utility when evaluated by forecasters in the Hazardous Weather Testbed and may help increase confidence in a warning decision. The ability of short-range convective-scale ensemble forecasts to provide guidance that could be used in warning operations is explored for five events: two tornadic supercell thunderstorms, a macroburst, a damaging windstorm and a flash flood. Results show that the ensemble forecasts of the three individual severe thunderstorm events are very good, while the forecasts from the damaging windstorm and flash flood events, associated with mesoscale convective systems, are mixed. Important interactions between mesoscale and convective-scale features occur for the mesoscale convective system events that strongly influence the quality of the convective-scale forecasts. The development of a successful Warn-on-Forecast system will take many years and require the collaborative efforts of researchers and operational forecasters to succeed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-16
Number of pages15
JournalAtmospheric Research
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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