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The THunderstorm Operational Research (THOR) Project
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What is THOR?
THOR is a multi-year, multi-agency effort aimed at improving thunderstorm
watches, warnings, and forecasts for the American public and getting the most out of each
U.S. tax dollar.
What are the goals of THOR?
- Establish operational baseline accuracy for thunderstorm forecasts at multiple
projections starting from 30 minutes and extending to 48 hours.
- Establish operational baseline accuracy for tornado detection.
- Prototype a seamless operational suite of digital/graphical thunderstorm forecasts and warnings
for the general public, emergency managers, and high impact government agencies.
- Prototype an operational automated thunderstorm forecast verification system.
- Provide a societal impacts evaluation of current operational and prototypical severe
thunderstorm and tornado warnings.
Who is involved with THOR?
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Weather Service (NWS)
- NOAA/National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS)
- NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)
- NOAA/Forecast Systems Laboratory (FSL)
- Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology (OFCM)
- National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
- Department of Defense (DoD)/United States Air Force (USAF)
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Department of Energy (DoE)
- Department of Transportation (DoT)/Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)/LL
Why do we need THOR?
We need to answer important questions like:
- How do automated thunderstorm guidance forecasts compare with one another? In
particular, how does a state-of-the-art numerical weather prediction model perform in
forecasting thunderstorms compared with simpler, less sophisticated techniques?
- How can critical judgement skills of human forecasters be best utilized to improve
- What types of thunderstorm forecasts and warnings best meet the needs of users?
- What skill do we have in detecting tornadoes?
National Weather Service
Last Modified: 19 July 2000, RLS.