Session 8A.1 The Experimental Warning Program 2008 Spring Experiment at the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed

Tuesday, 28 October 2008: 1:30 PM
North & Center Ballroom (Hilton DeSoto)
Gregory J. Stumpf, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma and NOAA/NWS/MDL, Norman, OK; and T. M. Smith, K. Manross, and D. L. Andra Jr.

Presentation PDF (471.3 kB)

The NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed's (HWT) Experimental Warning Program's (EWP) purpose is to integrate National Weather Service (NWS) operational meteorologists, and National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) researchers to test new science, technologies, products, and services designed to improve short-term (0-2 hour) warnings and nowcasts of severe convective weather threats. The EWP conducted its second formal Spring Experiment during a six week period in 2008 at the National Weather Center in Norman, OK.

There were three primary projects geared toward WFO severe weather warning operations, 1) an evaluation of the rapidly-updating phased array radar (PAR) in Norman, 2) an evaluation of a high-density network of 3-cm radars (CASA) in Central Oklahoma, and 3) an evaluation of experimental high temporal and spatial resolution gridded hazard information (a.k.a. gridded probabilistic warnings). Twenty NWS forecasters representing five of the six NWS Regions participated in the experiment, along with personnel from the NWS Warning Decision Training Branch, several universities, and other federal and academic agencies.

Operational activities took place during the week Monday through Thursday, with an end-of-week summary debriefing taking place on Friday. Most days consisted of a 3-4 hour Intensive Operations Period (IOP) where the forecasters were immersed in evaluations of three experiment on live data in a simulated severe weather warning environment. When severe weather was occurring within Central Oklahoma, the PAR and CASA experiments were the primary focus. When storms were elsewhere in the CONUS, the gridded probabilistic warning experiment was conducted. Outside of the IOPs, the forecasters worked with cognizant scientists to review archive cases, sometimes in a simulated displace real-time setting. Feedback was obtained from the forecasters during live and archive playback operations through the use of written surveys, voice recording, and discussions which were summarized on the EWP Blog. Operations were facilitated via the use of a multi-LCD/plasma Situational Awareness Display.

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