11.2A An Examination of Core Partner Successes Using National Weather Service Tulsa's Decision Support Page

Thursday, 16 January 2020: 1:30 PM
153C (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Karen Hatfield, NOAA/NWSFO-Tulsa, Tulsa, OK; and E. J. Calianese Jr., S. F. Piltz, J. M. Frederick, and N. M. McGavock

The National Weather Service (NWS) has more demand than ever to provide Impact-Based Decision Support Services (IDSS) to core partners. Discussion and planning continue across the agency on how to best accommodate a wide range of users and an expanding volume of support requests with an unchanged staffing framework. Meteorologists at the NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Tulsa, Oklahoma automatically incorporate National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) information directly into communicating the overall message. Using this approach limits the workload increase and ensures consistency among a variety of communication methods. A prominent piece to this integrated approach is WFO Tulsa’s Decision Support Page (DSP), a dynamically updated webpage initially published in 2005. The DSP provides the latest hazard information through a set of color-coded threat levels derived from NDFD, forecast models and observational datasets. Threat levels update with any notable change to the foundational data, requiring little to no additional forecaster intervention. For example, the current hour temperature, dew point temperature, and wind speed and direction are adjusted by synoptic and Oklahoma Mesonet surface observations, which may affect the threat levels for Fire Danger, Strong Winds, Heat Index and Wind Chill. In addition to categorical threat levels, hazard maps provide spatial details, specific point values, and probabilistic information relevant to advanced users, distinguishing the DSP from similar webpages, such as the Enhanced Hazardous Weather Outlook pages. The DSP’s efficiency allows meteorologists to focus on providing additional IDSS, including specific timing and impacts, to core partners.

Core partners have consistently praised the DSP and its usefulness to their operations. In a recent example from the record flooding and significant severe weather in May 2019, the Executive Vice President of Law Enforcement and Lake Operations for the Grand River Dam Authority applied the DSP extensively to planning and response activities. He used the probabilistic Tornado Warning and Heavy Rain guidance to adjust staffing levels, prepare lake officers and boats in anticipation of water rescues, and begin Storm Adaptive Management calls in support of the City of Miami, Oklahoma. This presentation will share success stories from core partners where the DSP assisted them with making better decisions, allocating resources, and saving money and lives.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner