13 Forecasts, IWT Considerations, and DSS During Contrasting Severe Weather Events

Monday, 7 November 2016
Broadway Rooms (Hilton Portland )
Jennifer M. Laflin, NWS, Pleasant Hill, MO; and T. B. Pittman and J. Lauria
Manuscript (568.5 kB)

Considerations from three contrasting severe weather events impacting the Kansas City Metropolitan Area are presented from the perspective of a National Weather Service (NWS) forecast office, as well as Integrated Warning Team (IWT) members in Emergency Management and local television media. Two of these events (8 April 2015 and 6 July 2015) were preceded by some degree of forecast uncertainty but had differing outcomes and impacts; while the third event (26 April 2016) was characterized by higher overall forecast confidence. Many of the preparations and pre-event actions of IWT partners are triggered by NWS national centers’ outlooks and watches, forecasts and discussions from the NWS forecast office and media outlets, and other local products such as webinars and graphical hazardous weather outlooks; thus, forecast uncertainty and rapidly evolving forecast expectations may present challenges with preplanning activities throughout the IWT arena. These three events are explored using archived observations and analyses, convective-allowing model output leading up to the events, and the pre- and post-event actions of the local NWS forecast office in Pleasant Hill, Missouri; Johnson County, Kansas Emergency Management; and Fox affiliate WDAF-TV Channel 4 in Kansas City. Topics such as triggers for partner staffing and EOC activation, internal IWT communication of forecast uncertainty, and recommendations to improve severe weather messaging will be discussed.
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