The Evolution of Gridded NUCAPS: An Overview of Research to Operations Activities (118)

Emily Berndt, NASA MSFC / SPoRT, Huntsville, AL

Nadia Smith, STC


Eric Stevens, GINA

Gail Weaver, Anchorage CWSU



Cross-track Infrared Sounder/Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (CrIS/ATMS) soundings processed though the NOAA Unique Combined Processing System (NUCAPS) (i.e. NUCAPS Soundings) are currently available in AWIPS-II for forecasters to diagnose unique forecasting challenges. Vertical temperature and moisture soundings are useful to diagnose the pre-convective environment however, they are limited to a single-point (footprint) based measurement. A team of scientists and forecasters developed the capability to view 2-D gridded plan view and cross section displays of NUCAPS Soundings (i.e. Gridded NUCAPS) in AWIPS-II. The capability was initially developed in conjunction with the Anchorage, Alaska, Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU) to diagnose layers of cold air aloft which are hazardous to aviation activities. The CWSU routinely issues Meteorological Impact Statements (MIS) to alert the aviation community to hazardous conditions. Gridded NUCAPS provided an additional dataset beyond model data and observations to diagnose such events. After successful demonstration of the Gridded NUCAPS with the CWSU, the product was introduced to forecasters in a testbed environment at the Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT). Forecasters had the opportunity to analyze temperature and moisture fields as well as stability indices during the Spring Experiment and provide feedback on the utility of the data for convective forecasting. This presentation outlines the development of the Gridded NUCAPS product for display in AWIPS-II and highlights application examples from operational and testbed activities. Recent activities to baseline the Gridded NUCAPS in AWIPS-II and expand applications to additional forecasting challenges are also covered.