The Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting model (HWRF) is a limited-area numerical model used by the National Weather Service (NWS) to provide numerical guidance for operational tropical cyclone forecasting. The atmospheric component of HWRF employs the Non-Hydrostatic Model (NMM) dynamic core of Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The oceanic component of HWRF is the Princeton Ocean Model for Tropical Cyclones (POM-TC).

The NWS is always seeking to advance the HWRF forecast skill and, in 2014, it partnered with the Developmental Testbed Center (DTC) to evaluate an alternate configuration of the model with changes in the cloud-radiative forcing. While the operational configuration of HWRF (HDGF) uses the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) radiation parameterization invoked hourly, the experimental configuration (HDRF) uses the Rapid Radiative Transfer Model for General Circulation Models (RRTMG) parameterization invoked every 15 minutes. Additionally, the experimental configuration employed a partial cloudiness parameterization to provide cloud radiative feedback when the grid box is subsaturated.

For this test, the DTC ran a total of 198 retrospective forecasts for selected North Atlantic and eastern North Pacific tropical cyclones from the 2011 through 2014 seasons. Forecast verification for this project encompassed both large-scale meteorological fields and tropical cyclone metrics, such as track and intensity.

Contact information:
Ligia Bernardet, DTC Hurricane Task lead (Ligia.Bernardet@noaa.gov)