Skip to content

NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed

NOAA's Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) is jointly managed by NSSL, the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), and the NWS Oklahoma City/Norman Weather Forecast Office (OUN). The HWT is focused on national hazardous weather needs.

The HWT facilities include a combined forecast and research area situated between the operations rooms of the SPC and OUN, and a nearby development laboratory.

During multiple experiments that take place in the HWT throughout the year, researchers and forecasters work side-by-side to evaluate emerging research concepts and tools in simulated operational settings, including experimental forecast and warning generation exercises. In practice, this effort gives forecasters direct access to the latest research developments while imparting scientists with the knowledge to formulate research strategies that will have practical benefits. This collaborative approach ensures an effective, two-way path between research and operations which ultimately improves NWS forecasts and warnings.

Fact sheet (.pdf, 207 kB) · Video: NOAA HWT Spring Experiment
The Spring Experiment: Warning Program · Forecast Program

FACETs: A New Warning Paradigm & Framework for Progress (.pptx, 28.6 MB)

2015 Tales from the Testbed -- Webinar briefings on weekly EWP activities in the 2015 Spring Experiment: Week One · Week Two · Week Three · Week Four · Week Five

National Weather Association Webinar: Preliminary Findings and Results From the 2013 Spring Experiments

HWT Experiments

3D-VAR. A weather adaptive 3DVAR system from NSSL/CIMMS uses data from the national WSR-88D radar network and computer models to automatically detect and analyze supercell thunderstorms. Read more »

FACETs. Forecasting a Continuum of Environmental Threats (FACETs) is a proposed next-generation severe weather watch and warning framework that is modern, flexible, and designed to communicate clear and simple hazardous weather information to serve the public. FACETs supports NOAA's Weather-Ready Nation initiative to build community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water events. Read more »

GOES-R Proving Ground. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R) Satellite Proving Ground project engages the NWS forecast and warning community in pre-operational demonstrations of selected capabilities anticipated from the next generation of NOAA geostationary earth observing systems. Project website »

Lightning Jump Algorithm (LJA). Rapid increases in total lightning activity are often observed tens of minutes in advance of the occurrence of severe weather at the ground and are called “lightning jumps.” An operationally applicable lightning jump algorithm is being developed.

MYRORSS. The Multi-Year Reanalysis Of Remotely-Sensed Storms (MYRORSS) is a collaboration between NSSL and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) to reconstruct and evaluate numerical model output and radar products derived from 15 years of WSR-88D data over the continental U.S. This project creates a rich dataset with a diverse range of applications, including severe weather diagnosis and climatological information.

NSSL Weather Research and Forecasting model (NSSL WRF). NSSL is working on ensemble forecast models for very short-range (0-60 minute) forecasts of severe weather events. Ensembles are groups of computer forecast models that are able to ingest Doppler radar, lightning and satellite data to provide improved predictions of thunderstorms and their associated severe weather. Project website »

Phased Array Radar Innovative Sensing Experiment (PARISE). NWS forecasters evaluate the usefulness of PAR in simulated severe weather warning situations and positively impact PAR research and development. Project website »

PHI. The Probabilistic Hazard Information (PHI) experiment is designed to assess the concept of rapidly-refreshing high spatial and temporal resolution gridded probabilistic hazard information as the basis for next-generation severe weather warnings.

SHAVE. The Severe Hazards Analysis and Verification Experiment (SHAVE) project blends high-resolution radar data with reports of hail size, wind damage, flash flooding and winter weather collected through phone calls. Project website »

WDSS-II. The WDSSII consists of a large number of multiple-radar and multiple-sensor algorithms with are run for the entire Continental U.S. and is tested in the HWT. Project website »

Warn-on-Forecast (WoF). The WoF research project, led by NSSL, aims to provide forecasters with computer model predictions for imminent threats up to an hour before they develop. Project website »