MMM Director's Message

Greetings and welcome to the 2017 MMM Annual Report.

Christopher Davis NCAR Associate Director, MMM photo
            Christopher Davis
NCAR Associate Director, MMM

A common theme that you will find in the achievements of FY2017 is pioneering simulations and demonstrations of next-generation prediction capabilities.  These are in line with NCAR Grand Challenges, NCAR strategic priorities and MMM goals.  This includes the increasing convergence of mesoscale and large-eddy simulations.  Eddy-resolving simulations of hurricanes have provided a physical explanation of extreme wind observations from dropsondes. Global, convection-permitting simulations with the Model for Prediction Across Scales have been used to conduct fundamental studies of atmospheric predictability. Using the NCAR ensemble (a collaboration with CISL), MMM scientists are continuing to explore high-resolution data assimilation and Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model-based ensemble forecasting techniques to probe the prediction of severe weather, both warm and cool seasons, as well as trace constituents and aerosols.

A significant challenge that remains is the development of physical parameterizations that function well across a range of spatial scales.  New studies about hail properties are informing the way hail is treated in numerical models. Furthermore, the examination of hail-producing environments in climate simulations has produced insight into the future occurrence of hail in different regions around the world. The development of scale-insensitive parameterizations, mainly for clouds and deep convection, has shown recent promise. Collectively, the research in fundamental physical processes will be crucial for NCAR’s efforts to conduct research across weather and climate time and space scales.

In the past year, MMM underwent a reorganization to form three new sections and one center, replacing the previous six sections. Among the reasons for reorganization were to encourage new collaborations, balance section sizes and supervisory responsibilities, and improve communication. The new entities are:

  • Dynamical and Physical Meteorology: focusing on dynamics of high impact weather, including turbulence and cloud processes
  • Weather Modeling and Research: focusing on construction, support and research on weather systems using WRF and MPAS
  • Prediction, Assimilation and Risk Communication: focusing on data assimilation, short range prediction at convective scales, and the quantification and communication of forecast uncertainty and risk from hazards
  • Capacity Center for Climate and Weather Extremes (C3WE): focusing on behavior and impacts of weather extremes in climate.

These new entities reflect the growing need for tackling research problems across space and time scales, and across disciplines. I invite you to read more details about our recent accomplishments in the following pages.