92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 8:30 AM
Providing the NWS Storm Prediction Center's Convective and Fire Weather Outlooks in Formats Suitable for Two-Dimensional Maps and Three-Dimensional Earth Browsers
Room 356 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Matthew Duplantis, NOAA/NWSFO, Shreveport, LA
Manuscript (495.0 kB)

The NWS Storm Prediction Center issues Convective and Fire Weather Outlooks in text and graphical formats. The Outlooks serve as guidance to the local NWS forecast offices and are also used by emergency managers, land management agencies, private sector meteorologists, the media, and the general public. This presentation will describe how these Outlooks are being converted into color-shaded, closed polygons in formats suitable for visualization within Internet-based two-dimensional maps, and three-dimensional Earth, browsers. The color-shaded polygons allow a user to easily determine whether a portion of any particular county has been included in the area at meteorological risk.

The Categorical Convective Outlooks define areas of Slight, Moderate and/or High risk of severe thunderstorms for Day 1 through Day 8. The Day 1 and Day 2 Outlooks also define areas where there is at least a 10% or greater probability of general thunderstorms. The Fire Weather Outlooks define areas of Significant Dry Thunderstorms, Critical and/or Extremely Critical fire weather for Day 1 through Day 8. Both products include the coordinates (latitude and longitude) of a series of points that outline the areas listed above. However, not all of the areas are closed polygons, since some terminate at the near shore marine zones and/or the Canadian or Mexican borders.

At the NWS Shreveport office computer programs were developed to ingest the text versions of the Outlooks and convert them into shapefiles and KML (Keyhole Markup Language) polygons. This presentation will describe the process involved in quality controlling the data as needed, finishing line segments and/or arcs into closed polygons, and determining the layering priority of the data. The shapefiles and KML files are made available on the office's Web site and the NWS's GIS Web site for use by the various users.

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