Monday, 12 January 2009
CASA's Impact on Radar-Based Wind Assessments
Hall 5 (Phoenix Convention Center)
Severe weather warnings are a great benefit to society, saving lives and property every day. Sensors, training, decision support tools, and policy are continually evaluated and updated through research and operations to improve the effectiveness of these warnings. The CASA project aims to improve the severe warning process by providing lower troposphere, high resolution data to operational forecasters. CASA is an National Science Foundation project that is creating a new paradigm for weather sensors by creating networks of densely spaced, low-cost radars. CASA researchers have conducted experiments with National Weather Service forecasters from around the country using case studies to measure the impact of CASA's data on the warning decision process.
Since wind speed plays a critical role in the definition of severe thunderstorms, the purpose of this study was to measure the impact of CASA radar data on wind assessment performance. The results reported herein clearly indicate that for wind speed assessments CASA radar data can simultaneously increase wind speed estimates, reduce assessment error, and increase confidence in assessment. This outcome is particularly promising given that data are from experimental radars, participants were given minimal training, the radar display and computer-interface were unfamiliar, and many participants said CASA data confirms their mental model.
Supplementary URL: http://people.virginia.edu/~djr7m/ams2009/