On May 21, 2021, NOAA’s Virtual Laboratory (VLab) began operating in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. This change in the hosting environment represents the latest evolution of VLab. From its early days in 2013, running on a single OSTI server, to its migration to the Integrated Dissemination Program web farm in December 2014, to now leveraging the immense capabilities of the AWS cloud, the VLab has moved in response to its growing number of users and their evolving collaboration requirements.
The worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 in mid-March of last year brought about an unforeseen opportunity for MDL to test its continuity of operations readiness. We have now marked the passage of a full year in what essentially has been a “maximum telework” posture, and the evidence is in: MDL’s extensive array of collaborative tools, such as the Virtual Laboratory (VLab), Google suite, and expanding efforts in cloud computing have enabled critical work to continue despite the lockdowns and the reality of having staff scattered about in various locations away from our SSMC home base. We take a look at how our "workplace" has changed, and some of the notable MDL accomplishments of the past year.
On February 25, the NWS Meteorological Development Laboratory (MDL) upgraded both the Probabilistic Extra-Tropical Storm Surge (P-ETSS) and the Extra-Tropical Storm Surge (ETSS) models. The ETSS model, first launched in 1996, is a modification of the Sea Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model to use Global Forecast System (GFS) wind and pressure input to predict storm tide (surge + tide) from extra-tropical storms. The P-ETSS model, first launched in 2017, is a coastal inundation ensemble model forced by various ensemble wind systems. An article describing the recent MDL upgrades appeared in the NWS Insider on March 18, 2021.
Dr. Jerome P. “Jess” Charba has retired from the Federal service, effective 2/28/2021, capping an MDL career which spanned nearly five decades. Jess joined MDL (then the Techniques Development Laboratory [TDL] ) in 1972 immediately after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Since then, Jess has been instrumental in applying and expanding the principles of Model Output Statistics (MOS) to subsynoptic time frames and high-resolution observed data. Many of his innovative techniques have found their way into applications now used in the Localized Aviation MOS Program (LAMP) and other aspects of MDL’s statistical postprocessing efforts.
Scientists from MDL’s Statistical Modeling Division (SMD), in concert with NCEP Central Operations staff, have successfully implemented the newest version of the National Blend of Models (NBM) into regular production. NBM v4.0 represents a significant leap forward in Blend capability, most notably in that it includes a significant expansion of the amount and types of probabilistic information available to its users. In this article, we examine some of the new products and features of NBM v4.0.
This spring/summer, MDL welcomed a new group of student employees into the fold to help us with a variety of projects and to help provide them with “real-world” work experiences outside of academia. This year, however, those experiences came under some rather unusual and unforeseen circumstances, due to the onset of COVID-19 and the Lab's transition to a completely remote work environment. Despite all this, the students and their mentors alike seem to have adapted quite well. We introduce the 2020 students and their associated internship programs, and take a look at their activities and experiences with MDL.
The National Weather Association’s (NWA) Annual Meeting was held remotely this year, in lieu of the originally-planned gathering in Tulsa, OK, with a number of MDL staff members in “virtual attendance.” In what certainly was a Lab highlight during the week’s proceedings, the MDL National Blend of Models (NBM) team received the NWA Operational Achievement Group Award.
Staff members from the NWS’s Meteorological Development Laboratory (MDL) were on hand this January at the 100th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Boston, MA, participating in many of the activities connected with the Annual Meeting’s special sessions.
Threats-In-Motion Workshop was held at the National Weather Center in Norman, OK to bring participants up to date on the latest findings from research-to-operations (R2O) efforts in support of FACETs transition framework for convective hazards.
June 4, 2019 was a very big day for NBM. NWS CR turned off regional blends like SuperBlend and WModel, and started using NBM v3.1 to initialize (twice a day) all the forecast grids beyond the short term (roughly Days 3-7).