84th AMS Annual Meeting

Thursday, 15 January 2004
Assessing the Impact of Collaborative Research Projects on NWS Warning Performance
Room 4AB
Jeff S. Waldstreicher, NOAA/NWS, Bohemia, NY
Poster PDF (402.2 kB)
In 1990, the Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorological Education and Training (COMET) initiated an Outreach Program. The goal of the COMET Outreach Program is to improve local forecast and warning services by providing financial support for applied mesoscale and synoptic-scale research. To achieve this goal, COMET funds collaborative projects between universities and National Weather Service (NWS) offices. These projects generally lead to the development and adoption of new forecast techniques, an increased understanding of local meteorology, and/or preparation of joint papers and training workshops. Since the inception of the COMET Outreach program, over 250 collaborative projects have been funded nationwide, involving approximately 90 NWS offices and over 70 different universities. However, to date there have not been any widespread studies to objectively assess the impact of these collaborative projects on NWS warning performance.

This paper will present the results of an assessment of the impacts of COMET Cooperative and Partners collaborative research projects on NWS performance metrics for tornado, severe thunderstorm, flash flood and winter storm warnings. The study evaluated relevant collaborative projects within the Eastern Region of the NWS completed between 1995 and 2001. In addition, the verification trends at WFO Raleigh, NC will be examined to evaluate the influence of long-term collaborative activities on performance. WFO Raleigh has been continuously involved in collaborative projects with North Carolina State University since January 1991.

There are many factors that influence warning program verification scores on the long-term (e.g., technology infusion; implementation of applied research results, etc.) and the short-term (weather “regime” impacts on event types and frequencies; office staffing issues; etc.). This paper will describe how the assessment methodology attempted to isolate, to the extent possible, the impacts of the collaborative projects from these other factors.

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