USWRP Workshop
The Future of Regional Real-Time Numerical Weather Prediction

December 11-12, 2003
NCAR Center Green Facility, Boulder, Colorado

Meeting Chair:     Cliff Mass, Department of Atmospheric Sciences,
                                University of Washington, (206) 685-0910,

Why are we having this meeting?

             Over the past ten years, real-time regional NWP has grown to dozens of sites throughout country.  This flowering of local prediction has been fostered by the availability of models (such as MM5, COAMPS, ARPS, ETA, RAMS, WRF), rapidly declining costs for computer resources, and easy access to initialization grids and data.  Several regional forecasting efforts have also served as real-time data collection sites, primarily by acquiring observations from local mesoscale networks.   Such local data have been used for model initialization and verification.

Some of these local prediction efforts have been quasi-permanent and quite robust, while others have come and gone as interest and support have varied.  In addition to demonstrating the value of enhanced regional prediction for research and operational needs, these efforts have also identified significant organizational challenges.  These challenges include the relationship between national and local forecast centers, the roles and interactions among public agencies, academia and private weather-provider companies.  Equally important are issues pertaining to insuring permanence of such groups, including garnering support for operational regional weather forecasting and local data collection enterprises.

 Recently, the National Weather Service has expressed interest in the regional prediction idea and has established a study team on distributed modeling that will provide a recommendation to the NWS Corporate Board.

 The USWRP Workshop on Regional Weather Prediction, which follows its sister workshop on mesoscale data collection and assimilation, seeks to identify the relevant issues and pose possible solutions to solving the challenges of real-time regional weather prediction.  Some of the issues to be considered include:

1.  What should the relationship be between such local NWP and national operational centers?  What is the optimal mix of regional and national NWP for support of operational forecasting, research, and user applications?  What might be the roles of government, academia and private enterprise in operational, regional NWP?

2.  What should be the relationship between local NWP and the USWRP?  What is the best way to organize research in support of the specialized needs of regional observations and prediction?

3.  What is the role of regional data collection?  What is the relationship between regional and national data assimilation efforts?  How can local data assets be more effectively used by regional prediction efforts?

4.  If regional NWP and data collection makes sense, how should regional NWP centers be supported and organized?

5.  What should be the scope of regional NWP centers?  Should they be weather prediction centers or expand into environmental prediction centers that support hydrological prediction, air quality monitoring and prediction, emergency response, agriculture, and the like?

6.  Should pseudo-operational regional testbeds be established to test the modeling, data collection, and organizational aspects of the operational, regional NWP concept?

7.  How should the value of local prediction efforts by evaluated?

Meeting Organization

    If you would like to provide a presentation, please contact Cliff Mass.

 Day 1: Thursday, 11 December

 8:30 AM Welcome.  Introduction.  Purpose of Meeting.

 Session 1:  Current Status

 8:40-9:10         Review Talk:  Overview of regional NWP in the U.S.

 9:10-10:15       Presentations  (15 minutes each) on local NWP efforts and regional data collection/assimilation efforts.  Includes private sector regional prediction.

 10:15-10:45     Break

 10:45-12:00     Additional presentations on local NWP efforts.

 12:00-1:00       Lunch

 Session 2:  What are the Potential Advantages/Disadvantages of  Regional NWP?  How should it be organized?

 1:00-2:00         Invited Presentations: 15 minutes each

                         NWS Perspective

                         Military Perspective

                         University Perspective

                         Private Sector Perspective

 2:00-2:30         Group Discussion

 2:30-3:00         Break

 Session 3: Regional Mesoscale Data Collection

 3:00-3:30         Review by Walt Dabberdt of the comments/findings from the mesoscale data workshop on the role of regional efforts.

 3:30-4:15         Presentations on regional data collection efforts (e.g., Washington, Oklahoma, MesoWest)

 4:15-4:30       Discussion

Session 4:  Modeling Issue Impacting Regional NWP

4:30-5:00        Two presentations

5:00-6:00         Icebreaker and Reception
Day 2: Friday, 12 December

Session 5:      WRF Status and Its Applicability to Regional NWP

8:30 - 9:00    WRF status review
9:00 - 9:15     Explicit prediction of convection using WRF:  Results from BAMEX.  Chris Davis, NCAR.

 Session 6: Specific-Issue Breakout Groups

 9:15  -11:55      Participants can circulate among groups (30 minutes at a time, 4 sessions, 5 minute breaks between).  The chairman of each group remains and will summarize the views.

 Group 1:  What is the optimal relationship between regional NWP and national centers?  How does should they be connected with the USWRP?

 Group 2:  How should regional centers be managed and funded?  How can their permanence and viability be enhanced?  How should they relate to the private sector?

 Group 3:  What should be included in a regional NWP center?  Should there be a research component?  How should they relate to local communities and users? Should they include other
 types of environmental prediction models?

 Group 4:  Regional observing challenges.  The role of local data collection and data assimilation.

 There will be coffee between the second the third time slots  (10:25-10:55)

 11:55-1:00       Lunch

Session 7:  Summary and Conclusions

 1:00-2:40         Session Chair Reports (15 minutes presentation, 10 minute discussion)

 2:40-3:00         Break

 3:00- 4:00        Plenary Discussion of major issues.  Should we recommend regional prediction?  What are our major conclusions?  What should be the next steps? Writing responsibilities for workshop report.

 Meeting Registration

To register for the USWRP Regional Real-Time NWP wokrshop (or the preceding mesoscale data workshop), please fill in the form by clicking on the following link:


Getting to NCAR

 The meeting located about 50 miles northwest of Denver International Airport (DIA). Transportation to and from Boulder is available by rental car, limousine, or bus. Most rental car ompanies have facilities at DIA. Check the DIA website for more information on ground transportation. Travel time for shuttles and taxis is about 60-70 minutes.

 A regional bus service, the RTD, provides transportation between DIA and Boulder. Trip time is about 90 minutes.

  Driving Directions: Peña Boulevard to I70, I70 west to I25, I25 north to Highway 36. Highway 36 northwest to  Boulder
 City of Boulder Map

 Boulder Hotels

    A list of hotel with pricing is available here.

For More Information

    To make inquiries about the meeting, including volunteering to giving a talk, please contact the chairman:

    Professor Clifford Mass
    Department of Atmospheric Sciences
    University of Washington
    (206) 685-0910