The implementation of the Graphical Forecaster Editor for a national center marine domain

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 5:00 PM
B218 (GWCC)
Ariel E. Cohen, NOAA/NWSFO, Jackson, MS; and E. Christensen, C. Juckins, J. P. Cangialosi, C. Lauer, H. D. Cobb III, and M. Nelson

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The Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Hurricane Center (NHC) is reconstructing the marine forecast process across the TAFB Area of Responsibility via the use of the Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE). For the last decade, local National Weather Service Forecast Offices (NWSFOs) have been developing the GFE as a tool for forecast preparation and dissemination. GFE provides forecaster-editable, high resolution forecasts for a wide suite of variables in a gridded format. In GFE, forecasters use numerous smart tools and model output to generate forecast products at high spatial and temporal resolutions, allowing forecasters to better resolve local effects and maintain intra-forecast consistency, as well as inter-forecast consistency among neighboring NWSFOs. More importantly, these high resolution forecasts are available to the American public via the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD), which provides individually-tailored forecasts of basic sensible weather elements. GFE also includes the opportunity to automatically generate text forecasts and verification information, providing significant efficiencies in the forecast process. Forecasters and technical staff at NHC have taken it upon themselves to configure GFE for TAFB's Area of Responsibility during 2008 and 2009. This has opened the door for TAFB to greatly improve both efficiency and consistency in its forecasts, as well as provide a much more valuable product to its customers. In addition to providing higher resolution forecasts of winds and significant wave heights, GFE will allow forecasters to graphically depict hazardous wind and sea grids. Additionally, GFE provides the opportunity to use forecaster-edited wind grids as input for wave height, wave period, and swell forecasts. Numerous text formatters have been locally developed to automatically generate Offshore Waters Forecasts in English, Spanish, and French, increasing the visibility and accessibility of TAFB's products. Formatters have also been developed to improve TAFB's verification program. Much of this work has been transferred to the Ocean Prediction Center, which has similar marine forecasting responsibilities over the North Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Ultimately, this work will better integrate TAFB into the NWS community, with improving coordination between national centers and NWSFOs.