The Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model has documented shortcomings in predicting tropical storm track and intensity. It is well known that simulated tropical storms are highly sensitive to the physics packages used in a model, and that the choice of physics suite has a large impact on the environment (shear, thermodynamics etc) and on the storm structure. A new initiative by NOAA/NCEP/EMC and the NOAA Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project (HFIP) program aims at making more physics packages available for testing in the HWRF model and to asses their performance. The Developmental Testbed Center (DTC) has been involved in getting more cumulus, radiation, and microphysics parameterization to work correctly with the HWRF model. In this presentation, we will focus on how the model performs with alternate physics and show diagnostics to explain how the physics affect track and intensity. The SHIPS diagnostic module is used to compute averages of large-scale variables to gain understanding of how the various physics packages affect the storm's environment.
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