Dr. Zhang presented a seminar on “Improving Hurricane Model Physics using Aircraft Observations ” which is available on the NHC science presentation web site or at:
This talk addresses the important role of aircraft observations in hurricane model physics validation and improvement. As part of NOAA’s Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project (HFIP), a model framework for improving the physical parameterizations using quality-controlled and post-processed aircraft observations is developed, with steps that include model diagnostics, physics development, physics implementation and further evaluation. Model deficiencies are first identified through model diagnostics by comparing the simulated axisymmetric multi-scale structures to observational composites. New physical parameterizations are developed in parallel based on in-situ observational data from specially designed hurricane field programs. The new physics package is then implemented in the model, which is followed by further evaluation. The developmental framework presented here is found to be successful in improving the surface layer and boundary layer parameterization schemes in the operational Hurricane Weather Research and Forecast (HWRF) model that leads to improved hurricane track and intensity forecasts.