Poster Session P1.4 VISITView as a briefing tool for high impact weather events

Monday, 25 June 2007
Summit C (The Yarrow Resort Hotel and Conference Center)
Jon W. Zeitler, NOAA/NWS, New Braunfels, TX; and M. Oliver, M. Fox, J. T. Bradshaw, and P. Kirkwood

Handout (33.3 kB)

The National Weather Service (NWS) Southern Region Headquarters developed a Regional Operations Center in 2000 to serve as a focal point for conducting high impact and conference call weather briefings for the State of Texas Department of Emergency Management (DEM). High impact weather remains ill-defined, but in this context means forecasts of major winter storms, severe weather outbreaks, widespread flooding or flash flooding, and landfalling tropical cyclones in Texas. As more regional and local emergency mangers, elected officials, and disaster relief agencies became aware of the briefings, it became apparent that the lack of a visual component greatly hampered the understanding of those being briefed, and considerably lengthened the briefings as information had to be explained or clarified multiple times.

Mostek et al (BAMS, 2004) discuss the Virtual Institute for Satellite Integration Training (VISIT) presentation software (VISITview) as a key component for delivering distance learning training to operational forecasters. An underutilized component of VISITview is the capability for real-time, online collaboration between participants. The NWS Austin/San Antonio Weather Forecast Office (WFO) prototyped local weather briefings in 2005, with the capability implemented for the DEM weather briefings beginning in June 2006. The addition of real-time graphics to the audio conference call has greatly reduced the time required for the high impact weather briefings. In addition, the decision makers being briefed were in a much better position to assess weather risk, as measured by their own favorable comments and increased depth of understanding of weather phenomena, forecast uncertainties, and potential impacts. This presentation will summarize this project, show an actual archived briefing, and provide a live demonstration.

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