EFP: 2002 Spring Experiment Summary

Working Hypotheses

  1. Numerical modelers can learn to incorporate more operational relevance in their research efforts if they work closely with forecasters in an experimental forecasting exercise.
  2. Operational forecasters can make more skillful interpretations of numerical model output if they work with numerical modelers in an experimental forecasting exercise.

Specific Objectives

  1. Creation of Day 1 and Day 2 Convective Initiation Forecasts in support of IHOP_2002.
  2. Creation of Day 1 LLJ/MCS Forecasts in support of IHOP_2002.
  3. Subjective verification of Day 1 IHOP_2002 forecasts.
  4. Evaluation and subjective verification of parameters associated with convective initiation from operational and experimental mesoscale numerical weather prediction models.
  5. Evaluation of various non-standard observational and derived data sets associated with IHOP_2002.
  6. Collaboration and interaction with visiting IHOP_2002 and Spring Program scientists and participants.

Preliminary Results

  1. Probabilistic forecasts were generated for convective initiation and MCS evolution.
  2. Identified scientific challenges in the operational prediction of convective initiation at high temporal resolution as it relates to increasing convective watch lead times.


  1. Developed new operational workstation display techniques to highlight relevant surface boundaries in full resolution Eta model grids at 1-hour intervals, and documented complex relationships between the boundaries and model-generated convection.
  2. Documented limited ability of current operational and experimental deterministic models to routinely predict details of convective initiation, concluding that ensemble approaches may provide more meaningful probabilistic guidance to forecasters.

Related Publications

  • Banacos, P. C. and D. M. Schultz. 2005: The use of moisture flux convergence in forecasting convective initiation: Historical and operational perspectives. Wea. Forecasting, 20, 351–366.
  • Karan, H. and K. Knupp, 2006: Mobile Integrated Profiler System (MIPS) observations of low-level convergent boundaries during IHOP. Mon. Wea. Rev., 134, 92–112.
  • Szoke, E. J., J. Brown, and B. Shaw, 2004: Examination of the performance of several mesoscale models for convective forecasting during IHOP. Preprints, 20th Conf. on Weather Analysis and Forecasting, Seattle, WA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., CD-ROM, J13.6.
  • Wilson, J. W., and R. D. Roberts, 2006: Summary of convective storm initiation and evolution during IHOP: Observational and modeling perspective. Mon. Wea. Rev., 134, 23–47.