4B.2 The Role of the Human in Issuing Severe Weather Warnings

Monday, 3 November 2014: 4:45 PM
University (Madison Concourse Hotel)
Joshua M. Boustead, NOAA/NWS, Omaha, NE; and B. E. Mayes

The responsibility of issuing convective warnings for severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flooding for the preservation of life and property resides with the operational meteorologists in National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices. The effectiveness of a convective warning depends on several factors, including the ability of the meteorologist to correctly assess the severity of the situation through tools at his or her disposal, effective communication of this threat to the public, the media, and emergency officials, and the responses taken based on the communicated threat. The process, though, starts with a human decision to issue a warning. Using over 17 years of individual forecaster verification, this study examines select factors in the role of the human in the decision of issuing convective warnings. Results include the forecasters' probability of detection and false alarm rate, as well as how these indices change with experience and additional tools. In addition, the influence of frequency or return rate between convective events on verification will be discussed. The results will be examined by groupings including years of experience to assess whether experience affects skill, then whether skill level affects warning performance as a group and also individually. Finally, available radar data for each forecaster's tornado warnings during the period will be examined for convective mode and rotational velocity to assess any forecaster trends during the period.

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