Detailed Program Information


The NOAA Hydrometeorology Testbed (HMT) is a joint OAR—NWS testbed motivated to make "communities that are more resilient to the impacts of extreme precipitation on lives, property, water supply and ecosystems. HMT is co-managed by the OAR Physical Sciences Division, and the NWS Weather Prediction Center in partnership with the National Water Center.

The mission of the testbed is "Improving forecasts of extreme precipitation and forcings for hydrologic prediction." HMT supports both OAR and NWS strategic objectives.

For OAR, these include:

  • How can we improve forecasts, warnings, and decision support for high-impact weather events? (OAR overarching science question)
  • Identify new sources of predictive skill and improve predictions of weather, water, and climate through observations, understanding, and modeling of physical processes and phenomena of the coupled Earth system. (PSD overarching science goal)

For the NWS Weather Ready Nation strategic plan, these include:

  • Improve weather decision services for events that threaten lives and livelihoods
  • Deliver a broad suite of improved water forecasting services to support management of the Nation's water supply
  • Improve sector-relevant information in support of economic productivity
  • Enable integrated environmental forecast services supporting healthy communities and ecosystems

HMT activities at WPC were established to accelerate the assessment and implementation of new technology, research results, and other scientific advancements from the research and development communities to enhance WPC operational forecast products and services. These activities at WPC include the Flash Flood and Intense Rainfall Experiment (FFaIR) and the Winter Weather Experiment (WWE). FFaIR and WWE are designed to enhance and extend forecast skill for high-impact weather, especially precipitation, by facilitating interactions among researchers, operational forecasters, and users.

Please note that the WPC staff are willing to serve as a co-investigator with researchers interested in applying for HMT funding.

Main science priorities at WPC include:

  • Improve understanding and forecast methodologies for extreme rainfall events, including the application of high-resolution modeling and ensemble approaches
  • Improve both warm and cold season quantitative precipitation forecasting (QPF)
  • Develop operational feature-based verification techniques applied to model and human forecasts
  • Develop better techniques to incorporate uncertainty derived from short and medium range ensembles forecasts into the forecast process and convey this uncertainty to users of WPC products
  • Develop improved techniques for the prediction of freezing and frozen precipitation events (timing, areal coverage, intensity, and amount)
  • Develop better understanding and application of climate-weather connections (i.e. MJO, GWO and annular mode indices) to improve medium range forecasts


Communities that are more resilient to the impacts of precipitation extremes on lives, property, water supply and ecosystems.

Overarching Questions

Can forecasts of precipitation extremes be improved through an increased predictive understanding of underlying physical processes derived from enhanced regional observations and models?


To accelerate the development, prototyping, and use of advanced hydrometeorological observations and models to improve our physical understanding and representation of precipitation and surface processes, leading to improved monitoring and prediction of extreme events

To foster infusion of these advances into NOAA services, and to provide customized information for local and regional decision making

To support the broader needs for 21st Century precipitation information for flood and water resources management and improved ecosystem services

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