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High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) Weather Nowcasts



OBJECTIVE: Develop high-resolution rapid refresh weather forecasts (Nowcasts) in support of real-time battle management (RPA, dynamic taskings, etc.) in data-sparse locations 

DESCRIPTION: There have been a number of breatkthroughs in the public and private sector utilizing traditional data sources to gather weather data to develop a short-term rapid update weather model. The Air Force has a large number of non-traditional data sources that could be used to gather and feed a large swath of previously unavailable weather data into the AFW Enterprise and forecasting systems. These unique AF & DoD non-traditional data sources, such as OPIR (Overhead Persistent Infrared), should be explored for use in local data assimilation to improve model performance for support of high-resolution rapid-refresh-like "Nowcast" capabilities. This would aid in weather support to time-sensitive operations in limited domains, such as remotely piloted aircraft and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) events occurring in down-range operations. 

PHASE I: Conduct an analysis to identify any likely non-traditional data sources (available and near-term), such as OPIR, within the AF/DoD from which weather data could be gathered but has not been, historically. 

PHASE II: Based upon the research in Phase I, develop an algorithm or data analysis technique to extract environmental information from the non-traditional data sources and integrate it with AFW model data into a Nowcast system. 

PHASE III: Expanding upon work from Phase II, identify and develop means to integrate and present Nowcast information to users through the AFW Enterprise system. Identify and address any gaps between the proposed solution and the AF requirements. 


1. Air Force Weather Operations Roadmap (November 2017), HQ USAF/A3W, Washington, DC; 2. Rapid Refresh (RAP) NOAA Hourly Assimilation/Modeling System at Earth System Research Laboratory:; 3. Sun et al, 2014: Use of NWP for nowcasting convective precipitation. Bull. Am Met. Soc., 2014, 409-426.; 4. Browning, K.A., 1982: Nowcasting. Academic Press, London, 256 pp.

KEYWORDS: Weather Forecasting Technology, Nowcasting, High Resolution Numerical Weather Prediction, OPIR, 4 Dimensional Data Assimilation, Rapid Update Cycles 

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