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February 12, 2010 Conference Call Notes

Provided by: Steve Keighton, SOO - Blacksburg, VA (RNK)

Feb 9-11 Classic NWFS Event: Discussion of recent event included challenges of getting accurate snowfall measurements when accompanied by strong winds, and the wind aspect of this event just as interesting as the snowfall aspect. Ended up being fairly significant with 8-10" in many locations in the NW NC mtns (possibly some locally higher amounts from a couple of spotters and CoCoRaHS reports). Very nice trajectories off Lake Michigan.

Steve K hopes to have a snowfall analysis map (3-day total) by middle of next week. Not sure to what extent will have time to do much more of an event review right away though, but this is a very good case, with the added component of high winds (Blizzard Warnings were in effect for much of the NW NC mountains, first time in at least 17 years I think?).

Blair and GSP have been looking at the Froude # and its potential as a forecast and situational awareness tool, and he provided a few slides on their observations with this last event. The brief Power Pt presentation will be added to the NWFS page. For NWS offices, the smart tool for GFE is available on the Smart Tool Repository, and requires fine-tuning for local area. This also ties in with some of our research topic areas, under its own topic title and also related to better understanding of banding and diurnal evolutions.

Future research (Google Sites NW Flow Snow collaborative web page): Another plea to add you office's name to any of the research topics you are interested in helping with, but most have done this now. We tentatively identified the following topics as high priority: "Developing initial sub-categories and test on past and future events" and "Create composites and/or database of past cases", which will help in doing work in some of the other areas. Obviously, there is work already underway regarding evaluating mesoscale model performance, and the Froude # investigation, and there has been some communication with a few folks in the sub-group on GIS-based snowfall analysis. So these by default are probably ones that we'll continue to focus on, however sub-teams are encouraged to begin working together on how they want to proceed and communication separately, and updating the Google Sites page as well as briefing the group as a whole during conf calls as appropriate.

Steve K believes we'll need to use the "Updates on Research Topics" section by creating more or less permanent posts, one for each sub-topic (10 total), and then we'll keep updating each post with text, links, or attachments as appropriate. We discovered only one person at a time can edit these posts, and they can't be deleted, so Steve will create the 10 topic posts, and then folks can edit later with updates as needed. Steve will also investigate with someone at Google (or via any tutorials) whether there are any better ways of utilizing this page to create updates and otherwise collaborate on each of the topics.

Other news: The High Res Mesoscale Ensemble (HME) running at RENCI seems pretty stable now on the new hardware. Output is available via ftp and Brian is encouraging folks to download and provide feedback. Also need to think about specific output that might be best for NWFS, including 3D data. The web site is still in limbo and is under a contractor, but they are working to resolve that.

Steve Z archives some of the HRRR output, and has some for this recent NWFS event.

Next call: March 5 or 12 (10am). Which date is better?

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