Thunderstorm Auto Nowcasting


The primary role of the nowcast environment is to collect weather data, execute algorithms for producing a combined thunderstorm forecast, and provide a graphical display tool for viewing the various datasets.

Data incorporated into the nowcast environment includes WSR-88D (NEXRAD) radar, satellite, sounding, and surface data.

The software applications in the nowcast environment include algorithms for identifying and tracking thunderstorm movement, identifying boundaries, wind retrieval from radar, as well as a fuzzy-logic engine which allows the user to combine the weighted outputs from the various algorithms to produce a single, combined forcast. Subsequent verification of generated forcasts are available both visually and statistically.

Thunderstorm Auto Nowcasting System
Thunderstorm Auto Nowcasting System

In realtime operations the nowcast environment initiates and maintains process control through an auto-restart mechanism. The auto-restarter provides the user with an automated, hands-free forecasting environment.

Many components of the nowcast environment also can be operated in archive mode. Archive mode allows the user to re-run algorithms with newly specified parameters and to view historical datasets.

The key hardware components of the Auto-Nowcast Environment are:

  • A collection of UNIX workstations on a local area network
  • A mechanism for archiving data

The key software components of the Auto-Nowcast Environment are:

  • Data ingest
  • Data distribution
  • Process control mechanism
  • Analysis algorithms
  • Graphical data displays

The key data components of the Auto-Nowcast Environment are:

  • Doppler radar data
  • Sounding data
  • Surface data
  • Satellite data

Other features include:

  • System monitor