New England Instrumentation Sites

New England High Resolution Temperature Program

Field Program July 1 - August 31, 2003


  • To quantify improvements in the forecasting of temperature in the New England region which results from new and augmented observations and modeling.
  • To assess the benefits of better predictive capabilities to the energy sector.
  • To provide a pathway to operational high-resolution temperature forecasting.

New Observations

Because temperature at ground level is strongly influenced by the structure of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) and observations of the ABL are very limited, ETL is providing critical observations in the layer between the ground and about 3 km altitude. The key tools are remote sensors that continually monitor winds and ABL depth (wind profilers), temperature (RASS), aerosol optical depth, and cloud base (ceilometers), as well as surface meteorology measurements including solar and net radiation.

ETL will operate a network of boundary layer radar wind profilers to provide more detailed observations of the horizontal and vertical distribution of winds, temperature, and boundary-layer characteristics. Data from this network and other agency wind profilers will be available to operational weather forecasters as it is collected and can be viewed at ABL Profiler Network. These data will also be used to evaluate research and operational mesoscale numerical models. Realtime comparison of observations and model forecasts can be viewed at Model Verification. The models being evaluated include the GFS, Eta, NMM, RUC and WRF.

Evaluation and Verification of Model Forecasts

Data from the wind profiler network as well as 8 surface meteorology "energy sites" will be used to assess the accuracy of research and operational model forecasts. Evaluation will emphasize parameters that are the basis for decision-making in the energy industry. This analysis will examine the potential role of regional observing networks in improving local temperature forecasts and provide quantitative assessment of model performance.

Forecaster Evaluation

Strengthening connections between the operational and research communities, ETL is working with operational forecasters to assess the benefits of the new observations and modeling in the operational weather forecasting environment. Training held prior to the experimental period introduced new products, while evaluation forms provided in conjunction with prototype operational data will allow forecasters to provide feedback on these new products.