3.6 A New National Weather Service Collaborative Watch/Warning Process for Storm Surge

Thursday, 11 June 2015: 11:45 AM
303 (Raleigh Convention Center)
Nathan Hardin, NOAA/National Hurricane Center, Miami, FL; and J. Rhome, P. Santos, S. White, M. Belk, and T. J. LeFebvre

The National Weather Service's (NWS) strategic plan for becoming a weather ready nation places special emphasis on real-time operational collaborative efforts. Real-time collaboration between National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) and local weather forecast offices (WFOs) is meant to achieve consistency and provide more accurate decision support services to partners and users.

The current collaboration model between WFOs and NCEP centers involves limited data sharing, and does not contain a workflow which allows both entities to edit and exchange data reciprocally. Development associated with the new storm surge watch/warning is redefining the collaborative watch/warning process. This paradigm shift leverages the existing protocols and best practices while building forecaster tools and functionality within the AWIPS2 infrastructure. This allows the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and coastal WFOs to exchange and edit a proposed hazard grid, in this case a storm surge watch/warning, reciprocally, unlimited times, before being finalized. This synergistic approach results in a large-scale watch or warning with detailed local expertise and an overall improvement in collaboration efficiency. WFOs are able to impart their local expertise through the collaborative process since the watch/warning is generated using a 2.5 km grid. Existing tropical watches and warnings are issued on the zone-scale, which could result in significantly overwarning the storm surge threat. Generating watches and warnings on a finer-scale grid gives NWS partners and users (e.g. broadcast meteorologists and emergency managers) the opportunity to communicate areas at risk for life-threatening surge more clearly and concisely. This presentation elaborates on the motivation for the new collaborative process, provides an overview of its development, and describes its utility and application as the process becomes experimental during the 2015 hurricane season.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner