NEWS AND ACTIVITIES (in reverse chronological order)
In February Deltares conducted Migration & Configuration Training for CAT-II RFCs at the NWSTC in Kansas City, MO. CAT representatives ("buddies"), OHD, OCWWS HSD, and others also attended the training.
Immediately following Migration training, Deltares and the CAT "buddies" conducted on-site visits for all CAT-II RFCs, during which time Deltares installed the first release of CHPS at those sites.
Despite some seasonal flooding, the CAT-II RFCs are now well on their way to migrating their NWSRFS systems to CHPS.
Deltares led two days of CHPS User Training at each of the CAT RFCs in early October. At ABRFC, CNRFC, and NWRFC the first day was comprised of presentations and exercises to teach forecasters how to use some basic CHPS Interactive Forecast Display (IFD) capabilities. The second day provided an opportunity for forecasters to exercise their new skills during a pre-defined major flood event. CHPS User Training at NERFC was handled slightly differently; in this case, Deltares provided "Day 1" of the schedule to half of the staff, followed the next day by a repeat of the same material for the remaining staff. A "Day 2" training class was subsequently provided to NERFC in early December. Dave Cokely from the NWS Training Center (NWSTC) attended the training sessions at ABRFC.
In November and December ABRFC and NERFC moved into the "parallel operations" phase of the project. This involves using CHPS for the first time in a more realistic environment; i.e., running through selected basins/forecast groups in a practice mode. No operational forecast products are generated during this phase.
The CAT-II RFCs are currently focused on implementing gridded model forcings. In some cases this involves learning how to use the Gridded Forecast Editor (GFE) provided by AWIPS; in other cases it involves learning to use HSEB's MPE/DailyQC application. Refer to the section below on CHPS Forcings for more information.
Meanwhile, to satisfy a request from Deltares for current station point data and mean areal data from the CAT-II distributed a CHPS version of the ofsde program to those RFCs. The CHPS version of ofsde produces slightly enhanced station data. This enhanced station data, along with basin average data (mean areals) from the NWSRFS fs5files, will be shipped to Deltares via NOHRSC to provide test data for the CAT-II initial basin configurations.
"Buddy" visits for the CAT-II RFCs were completed in July. These 1.5-day visits provided a high-level yet comprehensive and consistent introduction to a wide variety of aspects of the project. Each CAT-II RFC has been paired with one of the four CAT RFCs to facilitate their learning process. The goal is to provide a support system which will minimize any given RFC's dependence on Deltares.
The main event for this quarter was a series of "Buddy" visits. These visits involved a CAT-led team of people visiting every CAT-II RFC to kick-off their CHPS implementation process. The entire CHPS familiarization process for the CAT-IIs began in January 2009 in the form of webinars and conference calls, which provided some elementary CHPS information and some CHPS project status briefings.
Under the CHPS "Buddy" system each CAT-II RFC has been paired with one of the CAT RFCs for coaching purposes. During May and June a team comprised of one representative from OHD, one Deltares employee, and one or more forecasters from the appropriate CAT RFC visited each CAT-II RFC. As of the end of June 2009 only two visits (APRFC and NCRFC) remain. The visits identify some pre-CHPS activities that the CAT-II offices can start before they receive formal Configuration & Migration training next February.
Meanwhile the 4 CAT RFCs continued to make good progress with their NWSRFS segment migrations. Support from Deltares and OHD has been very good as the CATs uncover problems within the migration scripts and OHD models. The CATs report that they expect to be ready for parallel operations on schedule in October 2009.
Deltares completed another round of site support visits for each of the CAT RFCs; additional training and familiarization was provided. This will also bolster CAT RFC staff’s knowledge of CHPS in preparation for their support role when CAT-II RFCs begin migration activities.
During the Software Acceptance Testing (SAT) at OHD on June 15-17, five CAT RFC representatives conducted the first formal tests of the new Interactive Forecast Displays (IFD). Due to the importance of the forecaster interface, we requested extra representation from the CAT RFCs: NWRFC, NERFC, ABRFC, and NWSEO all participated this time. Additionally, the representatives were able to conduct some further joint design improvements with Deltares, expected in the next version of the IFD demonstration software.
Deltares delivered migration training for the CAT RFCs during the week of February 9 at the NWS Training Center (NWSTC) in Kansas City, MO. This was followed by a week of Deltares on-site support at each CAT RFC to ensure that everything was in place for migration to begin. The CAT RFCs have now begun converting their NWSRFS segments and forecast groups to CHPS and are making good progress. OCWWS HSD has set up a new NOAA email address and a new info list for the CAT RFCs to facilitate problem resolution during migration.