Comparison of wind profiler observations and numerical weather prediction forecasted winds during severe weather outbreaks
The National Profiler Network (NPN) provides in-situ wind observations up to 17 km in altitude in the Central U.S. and Alaska The Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models provide forecasts for wind speed and direction at varying pressure levels. This study attempts to explore how forecasters should use profiler data to verify model forecasts before and during a potential severe weather event to ascertain any possible model biases. Data from the Eta and Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) models and 4-5 NPN profilers (depending on the event) approximately around the geographical area of three severe weather events and one null case in the central and southern plains will be compared to observe any biases in the models. Three severe weather outbreak events across the Oklahoma and Texas areas (May 3, 1999, March 28, 2000, and May 15, 2003) and a null case event (April 20, 2002) will be presented for analysis to determine if a bias exists between the model forecasted wind speed and direction, and the profiler observed wind speed and direction. Two time periods in each event are explored to analyze possible biases between the pre-storm environment which would impact forecasted storm mode and the initiation of severe weather and the effects of the wind shear forecasted versus observed as related to storm propagation. Various statistical parameters and geographical maps will be presented along with possible meteorological implications of any model biases.