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Updated December 16, 2013


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 a forum—the Tropical Cyclone Research Forum (TCRF)—with the goal is to educate 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.

In 2014, the OFCM will conduct another TCRF/68th IHC which will be focused on assessing the progress that has been made in implementing the 2007 Interagency Strategic Research Plan for Tropical Cyclones: The Way Ahead.   Based on the success of last year’s forum and the cost savings that were realized, the forum will be largely virtual with two primary locations this year:  the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction, College Park, MD, and the National Hurricane Center, Miami, FL. It will be held March 3-6, 2014. On Monday afternoon, from 1:00-4:00 p.m., the Working Group for Hurricane and Winter Storms Operations and Research (WG/HWSOR) will meet virtually to review submitted action items, regarding the hurricane program to include recommended changes to the National Hurricane Operations Plan (NHOP). New approved procedures and agreements which are directly related to the provision of tropical cyclone forecasting and warning services are then documented for implementation in the NHOP, which is published annually prior to the upcoming hurricane season. The balance of the conference will start at 9:30 a.m. daily and end by 5:30 p.m. (EST).

Forum Theme, Sessions, and Other Key Events

The theme for the 2014 TCRF/68th IHC is: Tropical Cyclone Research: Assessing the Past—Visioning for the Future.

The forum's opening session will begin Tuesday, March 4, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. The morning's session will include a panel discussion of representatives from the service-provider agencies—NOAA, Navy, Air Force, and NASA—and a review of the 2013 hurricane/typhoon season from both an operations and reconnaissance perspective.

The remaining sessions will focus on the advances we have made in the last five years to improve our capability (the assessment) and to propose the 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)
  • Federal Numerical Modeling/Data Assimilation Initiatives, to include the following program areas:
    • NOAA's Hurricane Modeling Initiatives/Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program (HFIP)
    • The Navy's Model Development and Improvement Program
    • NSF program initiatives, to include the University-based National Ensemble Program
    • Earth System Predication Capability (ESPC)/Next-Generation Suite of Models
  • Transitioning Research to Operations
    • Joint Hurricane Testbed: Project Updates and Plans for the Future
  • Social Science Research Results/Demonstration Projects
  • Special Session to Summarize Assessment Results and Propose Plan of Action
  • Closing Plenary Session