Meeting Summary
NSSL/NWS JPOLE Operational Demonstration Meeting
Tuesday, October 2, 2001


The Joint Polarization Experiment (JPOLE) Operational Demonstration planning meeting was held in the NSSL WSR-88D conference room on Tuesday, October 2, 2001. Discussion topics for the meeting are listed at http://cimms.ou.edu/~schuur/jpole/dtopics.html Meeting participants are listed at http://cimms.ou.edu/~schuur/jpole/attend1.html After the lunch break, Bob Saffle of the NWS OST (Silver Spring, MD) also joined the meeting for about 15 minutes via a conference call.

The meeting began with a presentation of polarimetric radar research topics, including results of NSSL polarimetric rainfall estimation and hydrometeor classification research. Examples of the operational implementation of the hydrometeor classification results (as displayed by the NSSL WDSS-II delivery/display system) were shown. Plans for future upgrades, such as the addition of polarimetric rainfall algorithms and an upgrade of the hydrometeor classification algorithm (HCA) to include winter precipitation products, were discussed. Dave Andra provided feedback on NWS forecasters use of the real-time NSSL Cimarron polarimetric radar HCA during spring and summer of 2001. Dave Andra and Terry Schuur noted that the WDSS-II display software was in a constant state of evolution during the past months. In addition, there were occasional communication (since resolved) and NSSL Cimarron polarimetric radar data quality (improved and still being worked on) problems. These problems should be eliminated when the data feed is switched to the KOUN WSR-88D radar early in 2002. Terry Schuur noted that future coordination with operational forecasters will be required in order to provide feedback on product usefulness and accuracy. Feedback is also needed on the WDSS-II display system functionality.

Based on the presentation of the research results, discussion also focused on FAA product needs, especially hail region identification and winter storm hydrometeor classification. Bird identification was listed as a lower FAA priority than meteorological target identification, though it was noted that bird strike hazard mitigation is of interest to other aviation users. Coordination with the FAA will be continued in a meeting between FAA representatives and NSSL and NCAR scientists on Thursday, October 4, 2001.

Dusan Zrnic provided an update on the progress of the KOUN open systems development and polarimetric upgrade work. NSSL is still waiting for some components to be delivered. A tentative delivery date for these components is October 31, 2001. All other hardware is essentially ready to go and, if all goes well, it is realistic to expect that initial KOUN polarimetric radar data collection could begin by January 2002 (with continuous data collection by the spring of 2002). It may be necessary, however, to occasionally use KOUN for tests that are unrelated to JPOLE operational demonstration goals. Nevertheless, it should be possible to schedule down-time so as to not disrupt operational demonstration data collection.

Rich Fulton presented NWS objectives for the JPOLE operational demonstration, focusing on hydrological needs. Those needs are listed at http://cimms.ou.edu/~schuur/jpole/hydrology.html Rich noted that polarimetric radar data are needed both for event and continuous (requiring at least a year of continuous data collection) hydrological model analyses. Procedures must also be developed for passing Digital Precipitation Array (DPA) information to the Tulsa River Forecast Center. Bill Lawrence added that several good rainfall basins that can be used for hydrological studies exist in central Oklahoma. Other operational demonstration goals include a demonstration of polarimetric radar benefits to operational users. Those benefits, along with additional engineering requirements, are listed in http://cimms.ou.edu/~schuur/jpole/jpolecnf.pdf, http://cimms.ou.edu/~schuur/jpole/IIPS18.pdf, and http://cimms.ou.edu/~schuur/jpole/jquestions.html

Product development was discussed. Bob Elvander reported that the list of products presented after the first JPOLE planning meeting (August of 2000) are still sufficient to address NWS needs. These products are listed at http://cimms.ou.edu/~schuur/jpole/jprods.html Present WDSS-II capabilities and development plans were reviewed. It is clear that much work needs to yet be done on product development. Discussion ensued on 1) who is available to do the work, and 2) who will pay for the software development and display hardware. NWS support for the software development is insufficient to address desired needs. Rich Fulton suggested that assistance might be provided by NWS Hydrologic Research Laboratory software engineers. Bob Elvander addressed the possibility of obtaining additional NWS funding for software development and display. The meeting participants concluded that an attempt should be made to get Bob Saffle's input on this issue via telephone.

On the topic of acceptance criteria, Bob Elvander reiterated the need for acceptance based on a comparison of conventional and polarimetric radar products. Discussion ensued on the need to identify specific acceptance criteria for both engineering and data quality issues. Additional efforts must be made to establish acceptance criteria for product comparisons. Terry Schuur noted that product comparisons should take place both 1) in real-time in collaboration with operational forecasters, and 2) in post-analysis where more detailed comparisons with verification data sets may be made. In particular, NWS HQ needs to identify a POC to work with NSSL and ROC staff to develop acceptance criteria.

Broad support was expressed for a detailed comparison of data quality that goes into the products. The proposed science experiment was discussed. Terry Schuur noted that there is a general feeling amongst science participants that a detailed comparison of radar data quality, which would include the deployment of a high-quality research polarimetric radar, is of fundamental importance. There is also a feeling that at least some NOAA support be instrumental in potentially securing its deployment. Initial discussions indicate such funding, at least through the NWS, is unlikely. Other possibilities will be investigated. This will also be a topic of discussion at the Wednesday, October 3, 2001 JPOLE science project planning meeting.

Some discussion took place on data collection and dissemination. Most of this discussion focused on the possibility of putting real-time rainfall and hydrometeor classification products, as delivered to the local NWS office, on a web site (in order that non-local NWS personnel could observe real-time operations). Don Burgess stated that no funding was available for this work. Terry Schuur added that he thought simple products might be displayed with little effort. Due to data quality questions with the NSSL Cimarron polarimetric radar, however, there was some concern about implementing a web-based dissemination algorithm before a switch to the KOUN WSR-88D data feed might be made. Initial efforts to implement this procedure will be taken. Other data collection/storage/dissemination, while deemed important, must be addressed at a later date.

Just before the lunch break, talk turned toward coordination of JPOLE data collection with operational forecasters at the Norman, NWS office. Mike Foster noted that no contact/coordination had yet been taken in preparation for the operational demonstration. Concern was expressed on behalf of the meeting participants that, in order for the operational demonstration to be successful, better NWS coordination must be completed  well in an advance of JPOLE operational demonstration data collection. In addition to defining acceptance criteria, this must include identifying a focal points. Tim Crum of NWS/ROC (Norman, OK) was identified as the WSR-88D Operations POC.  John Simensky of NWS/OCWWS (Silver Spring, MD) was identified as the WSR-88D Operational Requirement POC.

After the lunch break, Bob Saffle was reached via conference call. The primary conclusions drawn from the conversation were 1) due to wedges in NWS FY 2002 budget, the JPOLE schedule must go ahead as planned for next year, 2) few JPOLE funding options appear to be available in the NWS FY 2003 budget, 3) a framework for evaluation needs to be developed, and 4) a plan for coordination down to the local office level needs to be developed.

Though not all of the discussion topics had not been covered, the meeting adjourned with a call for a list of action items to be identified. These ACTION ITEMS include:

A Due date of November 1, 2001 was set for these action items. The Program Management Committee meeting is set for November 14, 2001 in Washington, DC.

Meeting summary submitted by Terry Schuur.