6A.2 NWS Forecasters' Interpretations, Uses, and Needs Regarding High-Resolution Ensemble Guidance

Tuesday, 5 June 2018: 10:45 AM
Colorado A (Grand Hyatt Denver)
Julie L. Demuth, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and R. E. Morss, I. Jankov, C. R. Alexander, T. Alcott, D. Nietfeld, and T. Jensen

National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters have increasing amounts and types of model guidance available to them for assessing and communicating about hazardous weather risks, including about the likelihood of the threat, its extent, and impacts. Recent modeling efforts have focused on designing high-resolution (i.e., convection-allowing) ensemble prediction systems and on developing skillful output, including probabilistic output, for a variety of forecast parameters. Very little is known, however, about how forecasters might access, interpret, and use this high-resolution ensemble guidance, nor about what ensemble information they need for their critical forecast challenges. To address these knowledge gaps, data were collected through participant observations with forecasters at NWS National Centers and during NOAA testbed activities, and through semi-structured interviews with Weather Forecast Office (WFO) forecasters. Interview data were collected about each forecaster’s job role and forecast process; adoption and current use of model guidance and verification information; needs for information from high-resolution ensembles; and interpretations and uses of example products from high-resolution ensembles. The interviews were conducted with 31 forecasters from 12 WFOs located in Western, Central, Southern, and Eastern regions. The geographic variability in WFOs sampled allowed for data to be collected pertaining to heavy precipitation, winter weather, and severe weather risks. This presentation will discuss key elements of forecasters' high-resolution ensemble guidance interpretations, uses, and needs, and how these results can be used to inform future ensemble model development, verification, training, and communication efforts. This research is funded through a NOAA US Weather Research Program (USWRP) Research-to-Operations (R2O) grant.
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