12.4 Early Findings and Results from the Central Region Impact-Based Warnings Demonstration

Wednesday, 7 November 2012: 12:00 AM
Symphony I and II (Loews Vanderbilt Hotel)
Peter A. Browning, NOAA/NWS, Kansas City, MO; and M. Hudson, K. Runk, K. Harding, K. Galluppi, J. L. Losego, B. E. Montz, and K. J. Mulder

The National Weather Service (NWS) conducted service assessments to evaluate warning services and societal response following both the 27 April 2011 outbreak across the southeastern United States and the EF5 tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on 22 May 2011. In an effort to address some of the findings from both assessments, the NWS Central Region identified a group of five offices to implement a suite of experimental impact-based warning (IBW) convective products to test how to better communicate threats and impacts to partners.

The IBW Demonstration's project goal is to measure how the changes made to the warning products relate to the collective ability of the NWS, emergency management community and the media to assess, communicate, and manage severe convective weather risks. An evaluation of the effectiveness of 1) forecaster assessment of the potential impacts, 2) the packaging of the situational understanding about a storm event and its “urgency,” 3) the transfer of this knowledge to NWS partners (primarily emergency management and the media), and 4) whether and how that knowledge affects critical decisions such that the partners and the public alter their actions was conducted.

These broad outcomes can be related and organized within a known concept for appraising risk called the Risk Paradigm, developed by the National Research Council (1983, 2009). The Risk Paradigm enables objective validation of effectiveness of the convective warning process, including products, by organizing the project activities into three main interrelated components. Deficiency in the effectiveness of any one component can negatively influence the desired outcome of achieving safety actions. These component outcomes are: 1) Risk Characterization, 2) Risk Communications and 3) Risk Management.

This presentation will focus on preliminary findings from information collected while establishing a baseline understanding of partner processes before IBW products were used as well as those following the introduction of IBW products. These findings are based on interviews with both NWS warning forecasters and partners and warning verification results, which will become a part of a comprehensive evaluation plan developed between NWS and the group Weather for Emergency Managers (WxEM).

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