The Hydrometerology Testbed (HMT) conducts research on precipitation and weather conditions that can lead to flooding, and fosters transition of scientific advances and new tools into forecasting operations. HMT's outputs support efforts to balance water resource demands and flood control in a changing climate.
HMT aims to:
- accelerate the development and prototyping of advanced hydrometeorological observations, models, and physical process understanding,
- foster infusion of these advances into operations of the National Weather Service and the National Climate Service, and
- support the broader needs for 21st Century precipitation information for flood control, water management and other applications.
HMT addresses these goals through innovation, demonstration and infusion in five major activity areas. HMT's regional implementations started in California, have been extended to the Pacific Northwest, and are beginning in the Southeast. HMT is led by the Water Cycle Branch of NOAA/ESRL's Physical Sciences Division with partners across NOAA, other agencies and universities.
Guided by both NWS operational requirements and by emerging scientific questions and new technologies, HMT directly engages the forecasters and scientists in the research and development process. New ideas, technologies and predictive models are developed, demonstrated, evaluated and refined through the testbed, and are then transitioned to operations. This will include linkages to and impacts on the NOAA Climate Service.
- Innovations from HMT-West support NOAA's Rapid Response to the Howard Hanson Dam flood risk
- Development of "demonstration" performance measures for snow level and extreme precipitation predictions
- Atmospheric river real-time monitoring and prediction tool invented and demonstrated
- Forecast aid developed by HPC focused on horizontal water vapor flux
- Interactive, near real-time QPF verification tools developed through collaboration with DTC
- Key HMT-West findings are being implemented in California through a major partnership with the State's Department of Water Resources (DWR)
- Field experiments document gaps in current capabilities and explore new radar methods ranging from better use of existing radar data to polarimetric algorithms for QPE and gap-filling radar technologies
- Reforecast method implemented at NCEP is used by HPC for QPF, and next generation version is under development
- Peer reviewed publications document HMT's scientific and technical innovations