PROGRAMMATIC RATIONALE FOR RELAMPAGO
RELAMPAGO directly addresses the 2014-2018 NSF Strategic Plan Goal 2 to “Strengthen the links between fundamental research and societal needs through investments and partnerships.” “This strategic objective is aimed at developing connections between new insights and global challenges (often involving essential interdisciplinary collaborations, prototypes, and technologies). It also entails educating a workforce capable of using and adapting discoveries to meet society’s needs. One approach to developing these connections is through partnerships involving other government agencies and private and international entities. Such partnerships leverage NSF resources and help ensure that fundamental research outcomes are translated into benefits to society.” In addition, RELAMPAGO falls under the Hazard SEES of NSF AGS: “to catalyze basic research in hazard-related science to support a broad spectrum of research into the improved understanding and prediction of atmospheric and space weather hazards,” and likewise addresses the basic priorities of the NSF PREEVENTS. The project also seeks to enhance scientific and educational cooperation between the US and Latin America, with close coordination with NSF’s AMERICAS partner institutions in Argentina (CONICET), Brazil (CNPq and FAPESP), and Chile (CONICYT), as well as universities across SESA, Argentina’s national meteorological service (Servicio Meteorológico Nacional, SMN) and Brazil’s space agency (INPE) that governs Brazil’s weather and climate prediction service (CPTEC).
The High Impact Weather (HIWEATHER) project within the WMO World Weather Research Programme is aimed at promoting cooperative international research to achieve a dramatic increase in resilience to HIW. HIWEATHER aims to improve forecasts on timescales of minutes to two weeks, and enhance their communication and utility in social, economic and environmental applications. RELAMPAGO is an experimental testbed for this program and an opportunity to evaluate the skill of forecasting tools for flooding. RELAMPAGO received the endorsement of the Nowcasting and Mesoscale Weather Forecasting Group of the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) in July 2014 and from the Joint Scientific Committee-WWRP in November 2013. It was also presented by Argentina as a Research Demonstration Project for WWRP in November 2014 to the Scientific Steering Committee-WWRP. Finally, RELAMPAGO is also under consideration for an endorsement by the GEWEX Hydroclimatology Panel, with final approval expected at a meeting in early 2016.
The project also falls under the ALERT.AR project, funded by CTP-Argentina, and involving the Servicio Meteorólogico Nacional-Argentina, which seeks to improve the prediction and societal resilience to hazardous weather in Argentina.