Grant: $394,950 - National Science Foundation - Jun. 12, 2009
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Award Description: Given the large socio-economic impact of hurricanes, improvements to forecasts of these features have significant societal benefit. Although forecasts of hurricane track have improved substantially in the past decade, improvements to intensity forecasts, especially for rapid intensity changes, have improved little. Forecasts of intensity depend on an accurate representation of the analysis of storm structure at the initial time of the forecast. Here we propose to use a novel ensemble-based technique to improve analyses by assimilating observations in the hurricane core, including those taken in-situ by hurricane hunter aircraft. Moreover, we propose to determine target locations where new observations would have the biggest impact on intensity forecasts.
Project Description: The primary activity of the quarter involved preparing and performing idealized hurricane simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The PI and a first-year graduate student, Bonnie Brown, were involved in these activities. In order to perform the simulations, the model needed to be properly configured, with constant Coriolis parameter and sea-surface temperature, grid configuration, and physics parameterizations. Initial conditions for WRF were generated using the 3DVPAS software package from the University of Miami. This code allows the user to generate a vortex in gradient and hydrostatic balance, which is then transformed to the WRF model grid. The latter code, and software to analyze the results, were prepared as part of our quarterly activities. Preliminary results indicate that the long-term storm behavior is sensitive to the grid spacing and domain size. High resolution (3 km grid spacing) is required to resolve the dynamics of the storm core, while a very large grid area is needed to resolve the storm outflow. We approach this multiscale problem using four nested grids. The simulated storm takes over 10 days to reach quasi-equilibrium. A statistical analysis of the results is underway.
Jobs Summary: ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR-Requires a record of substantial success in both teaching and research, except that in unusual cases an outstanding record in one of these activities may be considered sufficient. RESEARCH ASSISTANT-Engage in research on sponsored projects under general supv of faculty/research staff. May include independent research under the guidance of a faculty member. Normally a pre-master's student. (Total jobs reported: 1)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jun. 12, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.