Weather Talk #69


Webinar #69 - Thursday, April 30, 2020

NOAA's Weather Prediction Center --  Part 1: A Quick Overview with a Deeper Dive into QPF/Heavy Rainfall Products
Gregg Gallina
NOAA/Weather Prediction Center
College Park, MD


NOAA's Weather Prediction Center (WPC) is one of nine National Centers of Environmental Prediction that include Centers like the more familiar National Hurricane Center or Storm Prediction Center.   However, much like the name implies, the mission of WPC is quite broad and covers many of the aspects of weather for the entire nation including but not limited to:  Analysis and forecast weather maps/charts (ie fronts, high/low pressure area, isobars),  heavy rainfall and flash flooding concerns, and winter weather in the short-term (up to 3 days) and medium range (up to 7-10) forecast periods, as well as, serving as backup to the National Hurricane Center.  

Given the breadth of WPC's roles, this talk (part 1) will quickly overview WPC's position and role within the national weather enterprise, but then take a deeper look into the center's expertise in precipitation forecasting focusing on products and uses coming into convective (thunderstorm season):  Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF), Excessive Rainfall Outlook (ERO), and Mesoscale Precipitation Discussions (MPDs).   In late summer, early fall, a second talk (part 2) will shift focus to WPC's role in winter weather forecasting with new products and services being tested and available to more users into the 2020-21 winter weather season. 

View the Webinar by clicking here:

View Greg's presentation slides:  SLIDES


Weather Prediction Center Homepage


Some helpful acronyms:
AR - Atmospheric River
AWC - Aviation Weather Center (Kansas City, MO)
AWIPS - Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System 
CMC - Canadian Meteorological Centre   (ref. to global weather model)
CONUS - Continental United States (Lower 48)
CPC - Climate Prediction Center (College Park, MD)
CPHC - Central Pacific Hurricane Center (Honolulu, HI)
DTB - Development Technics Branch (branch of Weather Prediction Center)
ECMWF - European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts  (ref. to "European" global weather model)
EMC - Environmental Modeling Center (College Park, MD)
ERO - Excessive Rainfall Outlook
FOB - Forecast Operations Branch (branch of Weather Prediction Center)
 FOB4 - Federal Operations Building #4 (former building)
GFE - Gridded Forecast Editor
GFS - Global Forecast System (ref. to "US" global weather model)
HFO - Hawaii or Honolulu Forecast Office
HPC - Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (former name of Weather Prediction Center
MCD - Mesoscale Convective Discussion (issued by Storm Prediction Center)
MPD - Mesoscale Precipitation Discussion (issued by Weather Prediction Center)
NAM - North American Mesoscale model (ref. to "US" short-range US-scale weather model)
NCEP - National Center for Environmental Prediction (College Park, MD)
NCO - Inception Acronym!   -  NCEP Central Operations (College Park, MD)
NCWCP - Inception Acronym!  - NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (Building)
NHC - National Hurricane Center (Miami, FL)
NMC - National Meteorological Center (former name of NCEP)
NWS - National Weather Service
NWSFO - National Weather Service Forecast Office
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admistration 
OCONUS - Outside Continental United States (Alaska/Hawaii)
PMDHMD - Short-range (day 1-3) model preference and forecast confidences
PMDEPD - Medium-range (4-7) model preference 
PMDHSD - Winter weather discussion
PMDSPD - Short-term weather discussion (Non-Technical)  1-2.5 days
PMDHI - Medium-range Hawaiian discussion
QPFERD - Excessive Rainfall Outlook discussion 
OPC - Ocean Prediction Center (College Park, MD)
QPE - Quantitative Precipitation Estimate
QPF - Quantitative Precipitation Forecast
SPC - Storm Prediction Center (Norman, OK)
SWPC - Space Weather Prediction Center (Boulder, CO)
TAFB - Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (Miami FL at NHC)
TCs or TS - Tropical Cyclone or Tropical Storm
UKMET - United Kingdom Meteorological centre (ref to UK global weather model)
UTC - Universal Time Coordinates (also Z or GMT- Greenwich Mean Time)
VTC - Video Tele-Communication system
WWB - World Weather Building (former building Camp Springs, MD)
WPC - Weather Prediction Center (College Park, MD
WX - Weather 
Z - Zulu or Zulu-Time, ref. to UTC or Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) zone