NOAA economics v2.0 mapping & visualization of cost / benefit economics across the United States

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010: 4:00 PM
B211 (GWCC)
Adam B. Smith, NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC, Asheville, NC

Presentation PDF (19.4 kB)

NOAA Economics seeks to provide newly analyzed economic cost and benefit information at the state, regional and national levels using a new mapping interface. This work includes performing statistical analysis, developing extreme event economic loss return period intervals (RPIs), interpolating economic value research indicators, and producing numerous GIS maps, graphs, and tables. This work will be completed in three phases.

The first phase builds upon contemporary research that have defined event RPIs for US hurricanes, severe flooding, heavy snow events, tornadoes, hail, and drought. RPIs vary slightly between the different physical events, but each event type will be analyzed separately so this is not an issue. Event RPIs can then be interpolated in space/time with economic impact RPIs to be developed using NCDC storm data, insurance datasets, and socioeconomic fields (e.g., population/density, per-capital income, area, households, NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) areas/population density, etc). Statistical tests will be performed to compare specific event RPIs with economic RPIs at the state level for the respective periods of record.

The second phase involves interpolating NOAA topic-specific economics benefit research methodologies and valuation statistics (using chained dollars for inflation) at the state-level using said baseline socioeconomic statistics. This work will include research topics that have the most geographically homogenous data for interpolation (e.g., NEXRAD data value in protecting lives; GOES-R data value in optimizing hurricane forecasts and coastal evacuation). State, regional and aggregate US maps can then be created via socioeconomic interpolation to demonstrate NOAA's value by topic.

The final phase involves blending state-level economic loss RPI (phase 1) and annual aggregate economic benefit maps (phase 2) for differential maps illustrating extreme event cost and data evaluation benefit economics. A method to validate this blending process may be accomplished by querying NWS Performance Branch data using a script to analyze (each week) all Weather Forecast Offices watches & warnings issued by county or polygon for severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricane, flooding and winter storms while superimposing socioeconomic fields. This may allow for contrasting current weather events with past event and economic RPIs by state.

This research will develop a prototype economic impact and valuation system, which is an economic climatology of costs of and benefits for predefined extreme events and data decision-support topics that NOAA provides for the nation.