2.1 The NWS Southern Region Headquarters Regional Operations Center Pilot Project: Results after the First Year of Expanding Support to Regional Partners

Thursday, 10 January 2013: 11:00 AM
Ballroom E (Austin Convention Center)
John M. Coyne, NOAA/NWS, Fort Worth, TX; and J. McNatt, B. Hoeth, T. Oram, K. M. Van Speybroeck, and M. Wiley

A key goal of the NWS Weather Ready Nation initiative is to provide improved Impact Decision Support Services (IDSS) to our customers. In this role, NWS meteorologists and hydrologists provide professional services to core partners as part of their decision-making team emphasizing, in particular, the interpretation of data and products tailored to those partners' needs. The Southern Region Headquarters (SRH) Regional Operations Center (ROC) Pilot Project was established to develop and demonstrate improved IDSS for those core partners who primarily operate on a regional scale. Such partners have typically been in a “gap” between the support provided by Weather Forecast Offices to their local partners such as county officials, and the support provided by NWS Headquarters staff and the national service centers (e.g., Aviation, Hurricane, and Storm Prediction Centers) to national headquarters of agencies such as FEMA and the Coast Guard.

Five Emergency Response Meteorologists (ER METs) now staff the ROC full-time. The ER METs are continuing to build and strengthen relationships that SRH personnel previously had established with FEMA Region VI and the Texas State Operations Center. In addition, the team is reaching out to new regional partners and exploring opportunities to provide those partners with improved impact based decision support. The team is documenting the decision support needs of those partners and prototyping the tools, techniques, and procedures to provide that support.

The ER METs have provided support to FEMA Regions IV and VI and several state agencies during recent significant events, and have begun to participate in regional hurricane, tornado and nuclear power plant exercises.

This presentation will review the activities of the ER METs, demonstrate some of the tools and techniques they have developed, and describe future plans for providing decision support services.

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