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By GCN Staff

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National Weather Service

NWS powers up faster, more detailed weather forecasts

The National Weather Service recently activated a system that quickly harnesses weather data from multiple sources, integrates the information and provides a detailed picture of the current weather.

The Multiple Radar Multiple Sensor (MRMS) system combines data streams from multiple radars, satellites, surface observations, upper air observations, lightning reports, rain gauges and numerical weather prediction models to produce a suite of decision-support products every two minutes, according to the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory.

Because it provides better depictions of high-impact weather events, forecasters can quickly diagnose severe weather and issue more accurate and earlier forecasts for communities and air traffic managers.

“MRMS uses a holistic approach to merging multiple data sources, allowing forecasters to better analyze data and potentially make better predictions,” said Ken Howard, a research meteorologist at NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory who helped design MRMS. “It was developed in collaboration with NOAA’s National Weather Service hydrologists and forecasters who tested experimental versions and provided valuable input and feedback.”

MRMS data are also an input into the newly launched High-Resolution Rapid Refresh weather model, which lets forecasters pinpoint neighborhoods under severe weather threats and warn residents hours before a storm hits. It will also help forecasters provide more information to air traffic managers and pilots about hazards such as air turbulence and thunderstorms.

MRMS is being used to develop and test new Federal Aviation Administration NextGen products in addition to advancing techniques in quality control, icing detection, and turbulence.

NOAA researchers developed the MRMS system in cooperation with the University of Oklahoma’s Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, and the software is available for government at no cost.

Posted by GCN Staff on Oct 17, 2014 at 12:25 PM


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