3.4 Communicating Uncertainty and Risk: National Weather Service Decision Support for Government/Private-Sector Operations at the Gulf Oil Spill/Deepwater Horizon

Tuesday, 25 January 2011: 2:15 PM
6B (Washington State Convention Center)
Kenneth Graham, NOAA/NWS, Slidell, LA; and J. Sokich

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico Mississippi Canyon is the worst oil disaster in the History of the United States. When the oil rig exploded on April 20, 2010, the United States Coast Guard immediately contacted the National Weather Service (NWS) New Orleans/Slidell Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Louisiana. The WFO immediately began providing spot forecasts in support of the effort. NWS support the New Orleans/Baton Rouge WFO in Slidell quickly escalated to providing on-site weather support to the Incident Command Center in Houma, Louisiana, and IMET support at forward staging operations at Venice, Louisiana. This presentation will describe the role the WFO New Orleans/Baton Rouge played to provide weather support for the response effort, including communicating the uncertainty and risk associated with hourly spot forecasts, wind and wave height forecast, extreme temperature forecasts, and aviation forecast support.
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