NWC REU 2004
May 24 - July 31



The Effects of High Resolution Model Output on Severe Weather Forecasts as Evaluated in the SPC/NSSL Spring Program 2004

Adam French, Steven Weiss, and John Kain



The goal of this study is to determine the usefulness of high resolution model output when it comes to severe weather forecasts and what the value of this usefulness might be in relation to the cost of running such models. This was accomplished by looking at data gathered during the 2004 SPC/NSSL Spring Program comparing a forecast made using current operational models, and then a forecast made for the same forecast period using the 4km WRF output. Further analysis was done using verification data for the four models examined. The results of these analyses determined that the 4km WRF models improve upon current abilities when it comes to forecasting severe weather, however these improvements were small. The small improvements combined with the high cost (in computer time and money) of running the high resolution models makes their value hard to determine. However, given some of the potential evident in cases such as 28 May 2004 it makes sense to continue work on development of 4km WRF models as future versions may provide a vast improvement over current forecast models.

Full Paper [PDF]