Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, University of Oklahoma

Data Center Description
The Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms (CAPS; was
established at the University of Oklahoma in 1989 as one of the first 11
National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center. Its mission was, and
remains the development of techniques for the computer-based prediction of
high-impact local weather, such as individual spring and winter storms, with
the NEXRAD (WSR-88D) Doppler radar serving as a key data source.

Along the path toward fulfilling this mission, CAPS developed the Advanced
Regional Prediction System (ARPS; The ARPS is a fully
automated numerical prediction system designed for both research and
operational application at scales ranging from continents down to cities. It
includes a data ingest, quality control, and objective analysis package known
as the ARPS Data Analysis System (ADAS;; a
single-Doppler radar parameter retrieval and 3DVAR/4DVAR data assimilation
system; the prediction model itself; and a web-based data display and decision
support system. The value of the ARPS was recognized in 1997, when CAPS
received both the Discover Magazine Award for Technology Innovation as well as
the Computerworld-Smithsonian Award.

When CAPS was established over 10 years ago, few in the scientific community
believed that storm-scale weather, especially thunderstorms, possessed any
reasonable degree of predictability. By 1996, CAPS had conclusively
demonstrated that prediction on this scale indeed was possible, and had done so
through a mix of case studies as well as real-time operational tests in close
collaboration with the Norman, Oklahoma National Weather Service Forecast
Office, NCEP Storm Prediction Center, US Air Force, FAA, National Center for
Atmospheric Research, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, and the National Center
for Supercomputing Applications.


Data Center URL