Custom Tools for better forecasting

Weather forecasters know that conventional instrument suites aren’t always enough to accurately predict severe weather. Deadly storms can sneak in literally below radar, and runoff models sometimes don’t capture an imminent flood.

NOAA’s Hydrometeorology Testbed (HMT) program, which involves CIRES scientists and research products, is infusing new science and technology into the daily operations of the National Weather Service and its River Forecast Centers. CIRES researchers have helped design and place custom instrument packages (from disdrometers and radars to weather instruments launched on balloons) and run experimental models in regions of California that are prone to winter floods.

Following the California demonstration, HMT will be deployed in other regions of the country with other severe weather forecasting challenges. In each deployment, instruments and models that improve forecasts will remain in place.