Funding is also provided for innovative research to improve forecasts of air quality. Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSE) are also supported by OWAQ to simulate different observing system strategies to improve weather forecasts. OWAQ has hired and supported an Earth System Prediction (ESPC) capability project manager in support of ESPC. The importance of communicating the severity of weather forecasts to the public is an area that OWAQ continues to support by providing funding for social science research.Extreme or severe weather has affected every state in the United States. The Office of Weather and Air Quality plans, facilitates air pollution, climate and social science. This research, involving federal and academic partners, is used to observe, understand and predict extreme weather events in ways that will help save lives and reduce property damage.
Peer-reviewed competitive research efforts in the last 10 years have been transitioned into hurricane forecast operations. This research has led to improvements in NOAA's forecasts of hurricane surface winds and storm tracks. Through the Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT), OWAQ works with the federal agencies involved in tropical cyclone research (i.e.-NASA, NSF, DOD) and participating private weather research companies and universities.
OWAQ supports severe storm research by funding the study of all types of thunderstorms through the Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT). OWAQ provides funding for the HWT primarily to invest in computer technology to improve model forecasts and visualization. Researchers and forecasters work side-by-side to evaluate emerging research concepts and tools in simulated operational settings.
OWAQ supports research on extreme precipitation by funding the Hydrometeorological Testbed (HMT). Currently, the HMT activity is located on the West Coast of the U.S. and is providing tools to improve forecasts of wintertime precipitation.
OWAQ supports research on key atmospheric processes contributing to the creation and transport of atmospheric aerosols that can affect human health and transportation. This research also contributes to improving NWS smoke, dust and volcanic ash predictions.
Competitively selected social science research is supported by OWAQ that enables NOAA to test research results that improve communication to the public during dangerous weather situations.
OWAQ leads the NOAA Environmental Modeling Enterprise. This group plans and facilitates NOAA earth system simulation modeling with expertise from different parts of NOAA.