Under this theme, NCAS-M faculty and students will collaborate with NOAA staff and stakeholders to perform timely and usable research designed to directly support the following WRN Roadmap objectives: “reduced loss of life, property, and disruption from high-impact events; and improved freshwater resource management.” Research under this theme will be interdisciplinary and range from studies to support the improvement of convective-scale guidance to increase lead times and reduce false alarm rates for warnings and forecasts to studies by social scientists to understand user decision-making needs and communicating relevant forecast confidence and risk information.
Focus Area 1: Process-level Understanding and Enhanced Modeling Capabilities
This focus area addresses WRN and NGSP goals for improved scientific understanding that undergirds the development of improved coupled global models. It includes projects that seek to advance the understanding of the weather-climate linkage, cloud and precipitation processes, airborne particulate matter, health sensitivities to weather and climate, planetary boundary layer processes (especially in complex terrain and in coastal oceans), terrestrial hydrology, and vegetation dynamics. This research responds to the NGSP call for a process-level understanding and enhanced modeling capacities of the elements of the Earth system that relates to the atmosphere and its composition, the oceans, terrestrial tropics, and the cryosphere in order to provide better analyses and predictions.
Focus Area 2: Improved Quantification of Forecast Uncertainty
Focus areas 2 and 3 align with NGSP goals for improving NWS climate modeling capabilities through “Assessment and Validation of various operational models” and improving the “Lead time and Accuracy for Weather and Water Warning and Forecasts” through improved use of numerical representation of physical processes, ensemble forecast methodologies, observational resources, observational tools, analytical methodologies, and visualization strategies. The following example of proposed NCAS-M research falls into these two areas.
Focus Area 3: Advancing the Development of High Resolution Models
Focus Area 4: Integrated Social Science
Focus areas 4 and 5 address NOAA’s goal for a Weather Ready Nation where society is prepared for and intelligently responds to weather-related events. Projects within this focus area aim to improve our understanding of the human dimensions associated with the impacts of severe weather and climate and it conducts research that is relevant to each of the NCAS-M research themes. Within these areas the NCAS-M will emphasize understanding decision-making practices of first responder and citizens, with a special focus on improving communications to vulnerable communities and populations.