It is not well known but NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) and the local National Weather Service Forecast Office in Norman, Oklahoma (KOUN) jointly run the Hazardous Weather Testbed office. This is where much cutting edge research takes place for improved storm warnings and weather simulations.
During multiple experiments that take place in the HWT throughout the year, researchers and forecasters work side-by-side to evaluate emerging research concepts and tools in simulated operational settings, including experimental forecast and warning generation exercises. In practice, this effort gives forecasters direct access to the latest research developments while imparting scientists with the knowledge to formulate research strategies that will have practical benefits. This collaborative approach ensures an effective, two-way path between research and operations which ultimately improves NWS forecasts and warnings.