[Ncep.nhc.nco_contacts] TSB Morning Rounds - Tue Jun 07, 2016

TSB Admin nhc.tsbadmin at noaa.gov
Tue Jun 7 14:33:37 UTC 2016

Here is today's summary of NHC computer operations:
--- Craig Mattocks


1. The GFE text formatter continues to have issues generating forecast text  
with unusual weather grids for tropical systems for the OFFNT3 [Marine  
Offshore Waters (Caribbean & Atlantic)] and OFFNT4 [Marine Offshore Waters  
(Gulf of Mexico)] products. In some cases, changing the weather grids and  
re-running the text formatter will clear up the problem. In other cases,  
such as last night's failure in running the OFFNT3, TSB AWIPS SysAdmin  
Chris Mello traced the problem via code to the lines that read the previous  
synopsis. Missing dots in the previous product that the formatter was  
trying to read caused the failure. Fixing the old product and rerunning the  
formatter solved the problem. Advice from Chris:

Lesson learned - Check for missing dots (.) at the beginning of the old  
synopsis if the formatter fails to run.
1. Problems importing the EMX/EMXI forecast aids in the ATCF during TS  
Colin (reprise): Senior Hurricane Specialist Mike Brennan contacted Tim  
Marchok about the vortex tracker not being able to locate the center of the  
storm. The tracker algorithm computes the horizontal distance between the  
center location determined from the 850 mb vorticity and the mean sea level  
pressure (MSLP) and compares this vertical coherence measurement against  
a "distance separation threshold" value as a means of quality control (QC)  
to determine whether to kill the tracking process. This threshold value,  
originally set to 323 km, has been increased to 400 km for many forecast  
aids but not yet for the ECMWF-derived tracks. Tim recommends submitting an  
accelerated RFC (Request for Change) to modify one line in the vortex  
tracking code to increase this threshold value for the EMX/EMXI forecast  

Scientific question: Should this distance separation threshold value be  
computed dynamically, depending on the size of the storm (azimuthal average  
of the 34 knot wind radii?) or adjusted when the storm makes a land/water  
transition or traverses steep terrain?

2. The FNMOC (Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center) TC web  
page is not updating properly for TD 1-E. The NRL web page is working but  
only if the old storm ID (92E invest) is used. During past storms, similar  
problems have occurred during guidance retrieval when the ATCF GUI  
generates a "renumber" file, even if the forecaster clicks "no" in the  
dialog box that pops up. In those cases, the solution was to log into the  
atcf-data account and remove the offending "renumber" file. Senior  
Hurricane Specialist Mike Brennan is investigating this issue.

3. TSB Developer Matt Sardi believes he has found the culprit responsible  
for the single line printing in HSU: the Perl script that processes the  
vortex messages into fix format (nhc-dbn2:/home/ldm/scripts/vortex.pl)  
prints out a 'status report' after each vortex message decode. He has  
commented this out and will monitor the processing to see if this resolves  
the issue.

4. Problems accessing the GEFS deep layer wind spread when running the  
aircraft targeting program. The legacy GFS ensemble spread files (in grib1  
format) are now arriving much later than normal on WCOSS, 8.5 hours after  
synoptic time, and only for 00 UTC. TSB Developer Matt Sardi has adjusted  
the crontab entry to run the targeting data processing scripts on WCOSS at  
a later time, but this situation is tenuous at best. TSB developers are  
collaborating with scientists in NOAA/AOML's Hurricane Research Division  
(HRD) to create a new, more tightly integrated, version of the targeting  
program that uses ensemble spread files from the new version of the GFS (in  
grib2 format).
Other items:
1. Craig apologizes for butchering the spelling of Matt Onderlinde's last  
name yesterday.


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