NOAA's $5.7 Million Weather Bet


When someone wants to get better at a particular skill, they study, practice and research until they get the desired results. NOAA wants better forecasting of hazardous and extreme weather, so they’re investing $5.7 million in cooperative research agreements and grants to do just that, according to administrator Kathryn Sullivan.

“These research investments are designed to accelerate the development and use of advanced observing systems, forecast models and other decision support tools that will improve our nation’s resilience to hazardous weather,” she says.

Sullivan hopes these new interactions with academic and other research partners will help sold real-world weather problems U.S. citizens and businesses encounter on a daily basis. The funding will support collaborative work between NOAA and 27 other academic, government and industry organizations.

The research is divided into four major programs:

1. Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment in the Southeast U.S. (VORTEX-SE) – looks into several areas of forecasting tornado warnings, including formation, intensity, structure, path and commutation with the public when tornados occur. [$1.9 million]

2. Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT) – researchers and forecasters will work on improving computer models for hurricanes. [$1.4 million]

3. Hydrometeorology Testbed (HMT) – researchers will quantify and forecast rain and snow using new “high-resolution streamflow forecast” models and create a new flash flood product for forecasters to evaluate. [$1.2 million]

4. Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) – researchers will focus on improving storm forecast models, hail forecasting tools and near-term severe weather forecasting, including hazardous weather associated with thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, lightning and damaging winds.

For additional details about the individual projects, visit

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