7.3 Satellite RGBs for NWS Forecasters with Color Vision Deficiency

Wednesday, 9 January 2019: 11:00 AM
North 226C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Katie C. Vigil, CIMMS, Norman, OK; and E. B. Berndt, K. J. Runk, C. M. Gravelle, and M. J. Foster

Approximately 8 percent of the male population and 0.5 percent of the female population with Northern European ancestry are affected by a condition which adversely impacts perception of color. This condition, known as color vision deficiency (CVD), creates challenges for some forecasters in properly interpreting imagery that is created by combining inputs into red-green-blue (RGB) color composites on a computer display system.

In April of 2017, three National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters with red-green CVD were brought to the NWS Operations Proving Ground (OPG) to identify which RGB composites posed the biggest problems, document specific aspects of difficulty with discerning details in the imagery, and determine whether there are technological or procedural aids that might help to mitigate their difficulty in using these data.

During the three day evaluation, forecasters participated in both archived and live-data exercises where they analyzed RGB composite satellite imagery for various atmospheric phenomena, including convection, wildfire smoke, and fog/low stratus. They were also introduced to the mobile application Color Blind Pal and specialty eye glasses called Enchroma Glasses that were designed to improve color vision for individuals with CVD.

From this research the OPG, in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (NASA SPoRT), has created RGBs that are designed to be easier for people with red-green CVD to interpret. This presentation will focus on the creation of the RGBs, as well as the development of a Virtual Laboratory page designed for NWS forecasters with CVD to share research, color curves, and these newly created RGBs.

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