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The 2012 Triply Nested, High-Resolution Operational Version of the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting Model (HWRF): Track and Intensity Forecast Verifications
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    Weather and Forecasting, 30(3), 710-729.
Filetype[PDF-2.52 MB]

  • Description:
    The Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting Model (HWRF) was operationally implemented with a 27-km outer domain and a 9-km moving nest in 2007 (H007) as a tropical cyclone forecast model for the North Atlantic and eastern Pacific hurricane basins. During the 2012 hurricane season, a modified version of HWRF (H212), which increased horizontal resolution by adding a third (3 km) nest within the 9-km nest, replaced H007. H212 thus became the first operational model running at convection-permitting resolution. In addition, there were modifications to the initialization, model physics, tracking algorithm, etc. This paper compares H212 hindcast forecasts for the 2010-11 Atlantic hurricane seasons with forecasts from H007 and H3GP, a triply nested research version of HWRF. H212 reduced track forecast errors for almost all forecast times versus H007 and H3GP. H3GP was superior for intensity forecasts, although H212 showed some improvement over H007. Stratifying the cases by initial vertical wind shear revealed that the main weakness for H212 intensity forecasts was for cases with initially high shear. In these cases, H212 over- and under-intensified storms that were initially stronger and weaker, respectively. These results suggest the primary deficiency negatively impacting H212 intensity forecasts, especially in cases of rapid intensification, was that physics calls were too infrequent for the 3-km inner mesh. Correcting this deficiency along with additional modifications in the 2013 operational version yielded improved track and intensity forecasts. These intensity forecasts were comparable to statistical-dynamical models, showing that dynamical models can contribute to a decrease in operational forecast errors.
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