10.2 Operationally Focused Weather Threat Assessments: Weather Ready to Fly, Fight, and Win

Thursday, 16 January 2020: 10:45 AM
153C (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Jeffrey W. Budai, U.S. Air Force, Asheville, NC; and L. A. Jones, J. H. Zautner, and R. B. Kiess

The Air Force’s 14th Weather Squadron (14 WS) is the organization responsible for delivering decision-grade climate services to the Department of Defense (DoD). Recent weather events, such as Hurricane Michael in 2018 and the mid-west flooding in the spring of 2019, have highlighted that the DoD is not immune to the risks and high costs associated with such impactful phenomena. The disastrous nature of these significant weather events motivated a 14 WS study of the occurrence of severe weather affecting military installations across the continental United States. The aim of the study was to produce and provide installation leaders and decision makers with location specific risk guidance in the form of decision-grade climate information. Here, we present analyses of tropical cyclone, winter weather, tornado, severe wind, and severe hail events at or near 55 Air Combat Command (ACC) bases undertaken as part of this study. The installation-specific framework characterizes and communicates the climatological threat of key mission-limiting weather conditions to support local preparedness actions and training. As a result, decision makers need not rely on generalized regional or basin-wide norms to inform their preparations. The resulting Hurricane Ready (HUR-RY) and Severe/Tornado Ready (STOR-RY) concepts were adopted across ACC installations in advance of the 2019 hurricane and severe weather/tornado seasons to empower a transition from reactive consequence management to proactive threat mitigation.
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