3.4 NWS Jackson, Mississippi, Week Two Hazardous Weather Impact Assessments

Tuesday, 14 January 2020: 9:15 AM
153A (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Thomas Winesett, NWS, Jackson, MS; and B. Bryant, E. E. Carpenter, D. Cox, C. Entremont, N. Fenner, and D. Lamb

The increasing amount of weather-sharing via social media has brought about greater interest and speculation to the week two (days 8-14) forecast period. Traditional National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts and convective outlooks from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) only extend through day 7 and the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has only recently started issuing a day 8-14 hazards outlook product. In the spring of 2014, NWS Jackson, Mississippi (JAN) began creating and distributing a Week Two Hazardous Weather Impact Assessment (hereafter referred to as assessments) to staff and the emergency management community, in order to fill the need for significant weather forecasts during the week two period. Initial forecasts were popular with core partners, especially since we were able to provide them a "heads up" on a potential severe weather outbreak (verified with a lead time of 13 days) in April of 2014. Since that time, these assessments have evolved in format based on careful consideration of core partner feedback and due to the inherent limitations of forecast skill in the week two period.

Currently, NWS JAN produces a table that communicates an assessment of up to eight different weather hazards in the JAN County Warning Area (CWA) by assigning confidence levels on whether each threat will or will not occur. This table is distributed twice a week on Mondays and Fridays. Assessed weather hazards include severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, dangerous heat, tropical systems, freezing temperatures, winter precipitation, dangerous cold, and fire weather. Along with the table depicting confidence levels for each potential weather hazard, there is also a brief text discussion to illuminate details including general timing of hazards and geographic areas. So far, these assessments have only been disseminated to a group of core partners and internally to office staff. Current and future efforts include a continued focus on refining long range forecasting techniques and developing automated, precise verification to better gauge performance and help further improve forecast skill.

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