Air-Sea Interactions in Tropical Cyclones Workshop




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Working Draft Report : 24 Aug 2005 LKShay

Air-Sea Interactions in Tropical Cyclones Workshop

Camp Springs, DC 24-25 May 2005

Preface:


This workshop was convened to address the near- and far-term theoretical, observing, and modeling challenges in developing the next-generation coupled ocean-hurricane prediction system to become operational at the National Weather Service/National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NWS/NCEP) during 2007. A broad cross-section of researchers, numerical modelers, operational forecasters, and managers of governmental and university research programs gathered at NCEP in May 2005 to identify the scientific challenges associated with coupled models and to discuss potential avenues for addressing those challenges.


The context for this workshop, in both the NWS and US Weather Research Program (USWRP) frameworks was provided by Steve Lord (NCEP/Environmental Modeling Center) and Naomi Surgi (NCEP/EMC). Nick Shay (Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science/University of Miami) provided the overall charge of the workshop, which is to assess progress in the Air-Sea Interaction Community based on field programs and modeling studies sponsored by National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through the USWRP Hurricane Landfall program, and to identify pressing scientific issues related to improving the physics of the air-sea interaction problem under strong winds in a hurricane and forecast models. Central to this theme is how the forecasting community can use these data sets to improve predictions from coupled ocean-atmosphere models. A clear objective of the workshop was to open the dialogue between the forecasting and research communities, and understand each group’s needs. Breakout groups were designed to maximize discussions between forecasters and researchers in addressing these cross-cutting issues.


To set the scene for the challenges that lie ahead, the workshop began with a series of overview presentations from NCEP-related activities: Operational Modeling (Surgi), Wave Modeling (Tolman), Ocean Modeling (Lozano), Data Assimilation (Derber), and Coupled Modeling (Ginis-University of Rhode Island). A recurrent theme was that any potential improvements for intensity forecasts must not degrade track forecasts. The two breakout groups in the afternoon focused on model forecasting and required observations. The second day focused on research issues and their importance for forecasting issues: Oceanic Observations (Shay-UM), Atmospheric Boundary Layer Observations (Barnes-University of Hawaii), Ocean Modeling (Jacob-University of Maryland-Baltimore County), and Sea Spray Parameterization Schemes (Fairall-Environmental Technology Laboratory). In addition, two brief talks were given by Girton (University of Washington-Applied Physics Laboratory) and Terrill (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) on profiling floats that were deployed in the ONR-Coupled Boundary Layer Air-Sea Transfer (CBLAST) program. This session emphasized the need for continued observations to improve our understanding of physical processes and model parameterizations prior to implementation in forecast models. The afternoon breakout sessions focused on setting priorities and refining focused recommendations discussed in Plenary on the first day.


A summary of the workshop presentations and findings is given in the following report: the key recommendations of the two working groups are presented first and this is followed by summaries of the individual presentations. The Appendices contain the workshop agenda, lists of workshop participants and working group members and discussions of individual break-out groups. We thank all of the contributors to this report, including all of the speakers and workshop attendees. Thanks to Steve Lord and colleagues at EMC/NCEP for providing the support for the workshop.


Nick Shay, Naomi Surgi, Joe Cione

Workshop Conveners June 2005

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