821 Initial Development of a Catalog of Impact Weather Events for the State of Texas: Guidance for the NWS Southern Region Regional Operations Center

Thursday, 10 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Suheily J. López-Belén, Univ. of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, PR; and B. N. Meisner

High impact weather events need not be catastrophic or widespread to have a significant impact on a local community or an economic sector. The NWS Weather Ready Nation Roadmap indicates that “The NWS will undertake the development of an Impacts Catalog to support its increasing focus on decision support services.” The NWS Southern Region Regional Operations Center is staffed by Emergency Response Meteorologists (ER-Mets) who have the responsibility to provide Impact-based Decision Support Services to support core federal and state partners, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal and state level agencies. This project focused on the initial development of a catalog of Impact Weather Events for the State of Texas with the purpose to support the Regional Operations Center's ER-Mets so they might better communicate to their core partners the expected magnitude of the impacts from a forecast weather event. That, in turn, will allow the core partners to better anticipate and prepare for the event. The Impact Weather Events Catalog is being developed by documenting significant weather, water and/or climate events, organized by each NWS Weather Forecast Office's (WFO) County Warning Area in Texas. To date, 1,032 impact weather events for 111 counties in North Texas, encompassing the County Warning Areas of the Amarillo, Fort Worth/Dallas and Lubbock, TX, and Shreveport, LA, WFOs have been added to the catalog. The data have been organized chronologically for various periods of record, some since 1999. All tropical cyclones that made landfall along the Texas coast since 1950 have also been included in the catalog. This project is a work in progress, not only for the State of Texas, but eventually for all the states in the NWS Southern Region. High impact weather events can and will occur in the future; meaning that updates to the catalog will always be necessary. The ER-Mets and their core partners must continue working together to have a better understanding of the impacts of weather events and develop plans that will mitigate the loss of life and property. This presentation will include a description of the development of the Impact Weather Events Catalog, with examples of the various weather events it contains.
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