Sea Breeze Experiment

In 2001 WeatherFlow in Collaboration with the University of North Carolina’s department of Meteorology and Statistics provided forecast support for a 2 week experiment.

»Chesapeake Bay Numerical Weather Prediction Model

The purpose of the Chesapeake Bay Numerical Weather Prediction Model Experiment is to measure the improvement in the prediction of weakly forced mesoscale circulations in a littoral region based on an increased spatio-temporal resolution of surface characteristics. Higher resolution terrain and land use databases, in-situ measurements and remote sensing will obtain the improvement in surface characterization. The Counterproliferation Technology Branch (TDAC) within the Technology Application Division (TDA) of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) operates a suite of mesoscale numerical weather prediction (NWP) models in support of the atmospheric transport and dispersion model embedded in the Hazard Prediction and Assessment Capability (HPAC). Accurate atmospheric transport and dispersion predictions for near and surface releases of chemical, biological, and radiological agents is highly dependent on the accuracy of the predicted wind field in the atmospheric boundary layer. When the local atmospheric boundary layer is under the influence of strong synoptic scale forcing, such as that produced by a cold front or mid latitude cyclone, the mesoscale NWP models produce wind fields less influenced by surface characteristics. During periods of atmospheric subsidence produced by strong high pressure, local wind fields are more influenced by surface characteristic discontinuities such as soil moisture, soil temperature, water temperature, and land use that are rarely represented with sufficient spatio-temporal resolution in mesoscale NWP models. In littoral regions, the diurnal contrast between land and water surface temperatures leads to another source of weakly forced mesoscale circulations commonly referred to as land/sea breezes. Numerical weather prediction models frequently predict light and variable winds under these circumstances when strong localized daily flows are the reality. Accurate atmospheric transport and dispersion calculations for chemical, biological, and radiological agents in littoral regions are dependent on mesoscale NWP models initialized with high-resolution surface characterization data. The Chesapeake Bay Numerical Weather Prediction Model Experiment will be a multi-agency experiment lead by DTRA that will quantify the need for high resolution surface characterization data. Participants include the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, Langley Research Center, the U. S. Coast Guard, the U. S. Army Research Laboratory, Baltimore Gas and Electric Power Company, Potomac Electric Power Company, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Authority, George Mason University, North Carolina State University, Logicon, SAIC, and WeatherFlow Inc.

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