The SWIFT project plans to conduct a forecasting testbed for a two-week period during the HIGHWAY field campaign in 2019. Testbeds are recognised as a key tool to improve weather predictions worldwide, in particular to pull-through research to operations; to critically evaluate NWP and other tools; and to stimulate new research directions (Ralph et al. 2013). The aims of the SWIFT testbeds are, to increase cooperation between forecasting and research teams; to understand better the performance of regional models to improve their interpretation by forecasters; to guide the model development process; and to improve the delivery of model and observational data to forecasters, and communication with forecast users.
The SWIFT-HIGHWAY testbed will consist of intensive, real-time forecasting activities at which weather forecasters from different institutions come together with researchers to perform operational forecasting. It is also intended to bring representatives of stakeholder groups into this testbed event, in order to explore and enhance the delivery of impact based forecasts.
The focus will be on the Nowcasting to Synoptic timescales. Dedicated model and observational products will be made available. Access to the HIGHWAY field campaign observations in real time will significantly enhance the value and potential outcomes of the testbed. The event will be hosted by SWIFT partners, Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) in Nairobi in Spring 2019. It will include regular teleconferences with other participating forecasting centres.
This testbed is preceded by a forecaster training event, held in Togo in November 2018, conducted in collaboration with WMO SWFDP (Severe Weather Forecast Demonstration). (For more information on this event see news.) In January 2019 a subset of the Togo participants from the researcher and forecaster communities will come together to document conclusions from the testbed.
Reference: Ralph, F.M., J. Intrieri, D. Andra, R. Atlas, S. Boukabara, D. Bright, P. Davidson, B. Entwistle, J. Gaynor, S. Goodman, J. Jiing, A. Harless, J. Huang, G. Jedlovec, J. Kain, S. Koch, B. Kuo, J. Levit, S. Murillo, L.P. Riishojgaard, T. Schneider, R. Schneider, T. Smith, and S. Weiss, 2013: The Emergence of Weather-Related Test Beds Linking Research and Forecasting Operations. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 94, 1187–1211, https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00080.1