HWRF is a specialized version of the WRF model that has been designed to simulate and predict tropical cyclones. It was developed at EMC/NCEP based upon WRF version 2.0 and became operational for the 2007 hurricane season. During its development, numerous features were implemented to improve performance. However most of these advances are not available to the research community. Meanwhile, the general WRF model has evolved from version 2.0 to version 3.2 with contributions from the research community, but these contributions do not have a clear path to benefit the operational forecast. To bridge the gap between operational and research communities, Development Testbed Center (DTC), in collaboration with EMC, embarked in the effort of transitioning HWRF from an operational to a community hurricane forecast model. DTC, in collaboration with EMC, has conducted extensive testing of the upgraded HWRF V3 to make its results converge to the operational HWRF V2. The differences between the HWRF V2 and V3 codes will be discussed, and the testing strategy and results will be presented. Also the reference configurations of the upgraded HWRF Version 3 will be introduced. A test of the HWRV3 using selected Atlantic and Eastern Pacific storms from 2008/2009 hurricane seasons will be conducted to obtain a benchmark for future upgrades.
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