4.3 Visualizing Spring: Phenology Maps and Tools to Communicate Timing of Spring and Other Plant and Animal Activity

Friday, 23 June 2017: 9:00 AM
Salon III (InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza)
Theresa M. Crimmins, USA National Phenology Network, Tucson, AZ

Meteorologists are challenged with placing local weather events within a national context as well as communicating the biological and human implications for conditions and events. The timing of seasonal event in plants and animals, including leaf-out, flowering, fruit drop, migration, and molting -- termed phenology – is a direct response to weather conditions. Real-time reports of phenological events provide meaning and context for weather conditions and events, and can enhance your communication.

The USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN; www.usanpn.org) collects, stores, and shares phenology data, maps, and information to support scientific discovery and management decisions. The USA-NPN provides real-time maps and short-term (6-day) forecasts of the biological start of spring and accumulated growing degree days. Accumulated temperature, often calculated in growing degree days, is a commonly used metric for predicting the timing of phenological transitions in plants and animals. Map products offered by USA-NPN also include long-term (1981-2010) average conditions as well as anomaly maps.

The data and map products offered by the USA-NPN are available through an online visualization tool (www.usanpn.org/data/visualizations), for download as images and raster files (www.usanpn.org/data/phenology_maps), and through OGC compliant web services for use in geospatial analysis. In this presentation, I will introduce the various map products and demonstrate how to access them for use in broadcast communications.

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