The V-nix pilot – an experiment in improved decision making

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 11:15 AM
Georgia Ballroom 2 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Chris Doyle, Environment Canada, Vancouver, BC, Canada

V-nix (Vee-nicks) is an amalgam of “Vigilance” and “Phoenix”. Vigilance is a concept originally developed by Meteo France and built upon by the Quebec Region of the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) that combines situational awareness and proactive, communicative, client-focused meteorology with an emphasis on anticipating impacts and supporting effective client decision-making. Phoenix was a project that focused the attention of the operational meteorologist on the diagnosis of weather events, the forecasting of significant weather, and the utility of the forecast in the short range. A reliance on automation for forecasts beyond day-1 and an avoidance of much NWP output for the short range were also part of its concept.

Shortly after a transformation workshop held in October, 2012, the management group in MSC Pacific and Yukon Region decided to create a Vigilance group or “V-team” with the aim of championing a transformative client-services project in the region. Following the initial V-team meeting, elements of a more client and impacts-focused approach were introduced to operations and the everyday work of the Warning Preparedness Meteorologist (WPM). These included the preparation of FX-like forecaster notes for particular audiences, situational awareness briefings in the operational area, media WebEx events, and the extensive use of social media. Follow-up meetings were held routinely by the V-team champions where progress and performance/reception of these initiatives were discussed and evaluated. It became clear from feedback and measurement that the projects undertaken were well-received and successful. The champions decided to advance the concept given its early success and the enthusiasm and engagement of potential V-nix members.

With a mandate to investigate and implement methods to improve collaboration with our audiences to effect better decision making, an expert forecaster will work collaboratively with a WPM to enable audience decision-making given a forecast of contextually-significant weather; that is, significant within the context of the specific audience. This requires V-nix team members to develop and possess relevant situational awareness and insight into the potential range and likelihood of impacts stemming from today's analysis, forecasts, and the antecedent weather situation. They must understand audience vulnerabilities and thresholds. They will prepare appropriate and effective meteorological aids to decision-making and communicate with audiences to enable their decision-making. The desired outcome is better decisions by audiences in the face of adverse weather. The V-nix pilot project began on October 1st, 2013 in Vancouver. A fuller explanation of its attributes and some early results will be discussed