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

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 9:00 AM
Using Geographic Information System Tools to Aid the Meteorological and Social Science Behind Communicating Heat Impacts
Room 356 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Jack Settelmaier, NOAA/NWS, Fort Worth, TX; and J. H. Kenney

For decades, the National Weather Service has been issuing mission-critical weather watch, warning, advisory, and forecast information. Delivery of this vital information continues over traditional communication platforms, but recently the availability of new communications media (e.g., social media) has broadened the audience for NWS products and services. Using Geographic Information System (GIS) tools, NOAA/NWS forecasters and communicators can now provide important contextual information to accompany the more typical products and services. Desktop and server-based GIS tools enable preparation of the information in graphical and georeferenced formats that are easily disseminated through the new communication media.

The summer of 2011 was notable for a prolonged and widespread heat wave that impacted a large part of the U.S. This presentation will review the preparation of user-friendly heat-related weather information and forecasts using GIS desktop and server tools. Additionally, we will describe some of the challenges and successes associated with communicating heat impacts, using geospatial contexts, to the large and diverse NOAA/NWS user community.

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