Understanding Violent Weather Fundamentals of Forecasting

Lynn P. Maximuk Meteorologist In Charge WFO Pleasant Hill, MO
October 24, 2005

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IT Has Changed The Weather Forecast World
‡ The NWS primary product is information ± not text messages ‡ Partners and customers demand more of the most current information possible, available when they want it ‡ High resolution graphical and tabular data for improved service
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Digital Forecast Goals
‡ Leverage national and local expertise to:
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Provide high resolution forecast information Ensure meteorological consistency Focus on high impact events Provide Information in multiple formats

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National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD)
‡ Multiple input sources ± Time and Space
‡ WFOs ‡ National Centers HPC/SPC/CPC/AWC/NHC/TPC etc.

‡ NWS product ± not local office product
‡ Offices produce a piece of the product

‡ Meteorological consistency a must ‡ One stop shopping
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Digital Data
‡ Will continue to evolve
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Add a vertical dimension Watch and warning information Observational information Climatological information

‡ Tap into GIS capabilities ‡ Readily useable formats

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Modern Technology
‡ New ways to prepare forecasts by depicting the underlying forecast information ‡ Flexibility extracting information to meet partner and customer needs ± formats without bounds ‡ Ability for rapid updates

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Service and Information Flow
‡ Frequent updates in short term ± hourly ‡ High spatial resolution ± 5km nationally and 2.5km locally ‡ More detailed forecast information for weather parameters important to partners and customers to feed their formatters and decision software

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How to Obtain NDFD Data
‡ Data, decoders and detailed information available at the following web sites:
‡ Weather.gov/ndfd ‡ Weather.gov/ndfd/technical.htm
‡ Database contents, format, etc. ‡ Available in GRIB2, NetCDF and XML

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Data Extraction Ideas
The Sky is the Limit!

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Traditional Forecast Format

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Detailed Forecast Information

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Decision Aid

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Polygon Warning Experiment
‡ Warnings were issued for the µthreat area¶ of a storm, counties fell out as needed from this threat area. ‡ Extensive outreach on key issues conducted spring 2005.
‡ Multiple warnings in effect for a county. ‡ Impact on EAS ‡ How to µvisualize¶ the polygons?
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Polygon Warning Experiment
‡ Customer feedback:
‡ Many emergency managers expressed that one of the reasons they rated services improved this year was because of the refined µbox¶ used in warnings. ‡ Some radio stations lukewarm (especially with regard to tornado warnings and EAS), as they get more warnings for the same µcounty¶.

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Media perspective on polygons
‡ Cones Of ³StormTracks´ are already familiar with viewers ‡ Text Crawls already cut whole county warnings ‡ Challenge is to marry audio message with new video display ‡ Learning curve with Media and NWS

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Polygons in action

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