10.4 Using Geographic Information System Tools to Explore Relationships between National Weather Service Overtime Expenditures and High Impact Weather Events

Thursday, 10 January 2013: 9:15 AM
Room 11AB (Austin Convention Center)
Jack Settelmaier, NOAA/NWS, Fort Worth, TX; and M. S. Hunter

For decades, the National Weather Service (NWS) has been issuing mission-critical weather watch, warning, advisory, and forecast information. Delivery of this vital mission includes issuing forecasts and warnings for all hazardous weather events, including tropical cyclones, severe weather producing damaging hail, wind, and/or tornadoes, winter weather, etc. Before, during, and after these significant weather events, NWS offices often incur overtime expenses related to their mission delivery, whether in providing life- and property-saving forecast and warning services, or in conducting field-based storm damage surveys. Post-event surveys not only verify the level of damage for historical purposes, but are used to help validate and improve NWS forecast and warning services in the future.

The purpose of this study is to make use of Geographic Information System (GIS) tools to explore, display, and convey NWS overtime expenditures and observed impacting weather events, and reveal geospatial and temporal relationships between the two. While we expect to be able to use our available datasets to reveal a high correlation between overtime expenses and impact weather events, we recognize not all NWS overtime expenses are weather-driven. We will show how GIS tools can be used to make this kind of exploration easier for both weather and financial practitioners to gain a deeper understanding of their data.

This presentation will describe our data preparation methodology, the geographical displays and symbology employed in our displays, as well as review our findings and results from this study focused on geospatially mashing-up NWS overtime and storm report data. As is typical with any such study, we will also comment on how these findings might be expanded to make use of NWS forecasts to estimate NWS overtime expenditures.

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