Doppler Lidar and Mobile Radiosonde Observation-based Evaluation of Warn-on-Forecast System Predicted Near-Supercell Environments during TORUS 2019


Observational data collection is extremely hazardous in supercell storm environments, which makes for a scarcity of data used for evaluating the storm-scale guidance from convection allowing models (CAMs) like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Warn-on-Forecast System (WoFS). The TORUS 2019 field mission provided a rare opportunity to not only collect these observations, but to do so with advanced technology: vertically pointing Doppler lidar. One standing question for WoFS is how the system forecasts the feedback between supercells and their near-storm environment. The lidar can observe vertical profiles of wind over time, creating unique data sets to compare to WoFS kinematic predictions in rapidly evolving severe weather environments. Mobile radiosonde data are also presented to provide a thermodynamic comparison. The 5 lidar deployments (three of which observed tornadic supercells) analyzed show WoFS accurately predicted general kinematic trends in the inflow environment; however, the predicted feedback between the supercell and its environment, which resulted in enhanced inflow and larger storm-relative helicity (SRH), were muted relative to observations. The radiosonde observations reveal an over prediction of CAPE inWoFS forecasts, both in the near and far field, with an inverse relationship between the CAPE errors and distance from the storm.

Weather and Forecasting, 181, 95–123
Click the Cite button above to demo the feature to enable visitors to import publication metadata into their reference management software.
Dr. Elizabeth N. Smith
Dr. Elizabeth N. Smith
Research Meteorologist

Elizabeth joined NSSL as a research meteorologist in January 2020, where she focuses on boundary-layer processes relevant to near- and pre-storm environments and convection initiation.