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Updated January 15, 2015


About the Conference

The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research (OFCM) hosts an annual forum for the responsible Federal agencies, together with representatives from the academic research community, industry, and other user communities such as emergency management, to review the Nation's hurricane forecasting and warning program and to make recommendations on how to improve the program in the future. In 2013, in lieu of the traditional Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference (IHC), the OFCM held a forum—the Tropical Cyclone Research Forum (TCRF)—with the goal of educating attendees on the status and future plans of the Nation's hurricane forecasting and warning program, particularly as they relate to tropical cyclone research programs and priorities.

The primary focus of the 2015 Tropical Cyclone Research Forum (TCRF)/69th IHC will be to continue to evaluate the progress that has been made in implementing the 2007 plan. The principal action from the 2014 TCRF tasked the OFCM-sponsored Working Group for Tropical Cyclone Research (WG/TCR) to prepare an initial draft assessment which will be available on the OFCM website by mid-February for review prior to the forum. Based on the outcomes from the forum, the WG/TCR will then finalize and publish the assessment which will adjust our research priorities moving forward, as needed, and guide future Federal TC research activities in addressing the gaps in our capabilities.

Forum Theme, Sessions, and Other Key Events

The theme of the forum is: Tropical Cyclone Operations and Research: Setting our Future Course

On Monday afternoon, March 2, 2015, the Working Group for Hurricane and Winter Storms Operations and Research will meet to address the agenda and action items related to the revision and preparation of the 2015 National Hurricane Operations Plan.

The forum will begin on Tuesday morning and will run through mid-to-late afternoon on Thursday. Plans for the opening session remain to be finalized but will include a review of the 2014 hurricane/typhoon season from both an operations and reconnaissance perspective.

The remaining sessions will focus on the advances we have made to improve our capability to support the needs and requirements of our operational centers and will highlight proposed future work needed to keep us moving forward. We are also interested in the new, ground-breaking ideas on the horizon that could greatly improve our operational capability to provide advanced forecast and warning services to our Nation.

The forum sessions will address the following subject-matter areas:

  • The Research Priorities of the Operational Centers (to include local forecast offices)—specific topics include:
    • Intensity/Rapid intensification
    • Structure
    • Track
    • Sea state/Sea heights
    • Storm surge
    • Precipitation/Inland flooding
    • Genesis
  • Observations and Observing Strategies—specific topics include:
    • Satellite applications (geostationary and polar orbiting)
    • Aircraft reconnaissance (GPS dropwindsondes, airborne Doppler radar, SFMR)
    • Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)
    • Upper-ocean observations/profiles (AXBT, AXCTD, AXCP)
    • Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV)
  • Tropical cyclone model development and technology transfer
    • NOAA's Hurricane Modeling Initiatives/Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program (HFIP)
    • The Navy's Model Development and Improvement Program
    • Earth System Predication Capability (ESPC)/Next-Generation Suite of Models
  • Transitioning research to operations (Joint Hurricane Testbed (JHT) and Development Testbed Center (DTC) results)
  • Advances in tropical cyclone forecast and warning products and services
  • Social science applications to the tropical cyclone forecast and warning program