NOAA Climate Information and Tools for Decision Support Services

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 10:45 AM
Room C301 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Marina Timofeyeva, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and W. Higgins, C. Strager, and F. Horsfall

There is an urgent and growing need for reliable, trusted, transparent, and timely climate information across all sectors of our economy. Decision makers are demanding improved information on how changes in climate may influence future extremes, and what impacts these changes may have on our lives, livelihoods, businesses, and the ecological systems. Climate services not only enhance development opportunities in many regions, but also reduce vulnerability to climate change around the world. NOAA's Climate Goal mission is focusing its efforts on four key climate priority areas: water, extremes, coastal inundation, and marine ecosystems. In order to make progress in these areas, NOAA is exploiting its fundamental capabilities, including foundational research to advance understanding of the Earth system, observations to preserve and build the climate data record and monitor changes in climate conditions, climate models to predict and project future climate across space and time scales, and the development and delivery of decision support services focused on risk management.

NOAA's National Weather Services (NWS) is moving toward provision of Decision Support Services (DSS) as a part of the Roadmap on the way of achieving Weather Ready National (WRN) strategy. Both short-term and long-term weather, water, and climate information are critical for DSS and emergency services and have been integrated into NWS in the form of pilot projects run by National and Regional Operations Centers (NOC and ROCs respectively) as well as several local offices. Local offices with pilot projects have been focusing their efforts on provision of timely and actionable guidance for specific tasks such as DSS in support of Coastal Environments and Integrated Environmental Studies. Climate information in DSS extends the concept of climate services to provision of information that will help guide long-term preparedness for severe weather events and extreme conditions as well as climate variability and change.

NWS has launched the new Local Climate Analysis Tool (LCAT), a tool that is used to conduct local climate studies that are needed to create efficient and reliable guidance for DSS. LCAT allows for analyzing trends in local climate variables and identifying local impacts of climate variability (e.g., ENSO) on weather and water conditions. In addition to LCAT, NWS, working in partnership with the North East Regional Climate center, released xmACIS version 2, a climate data mining tool, for NWS field operations.

During this talk we will demonstrate NOAA tools for Weather and Climate Enterprise as well as outline several examples of their application to DSS. The examples include LCAT-based temperature analysis for energy decisions, guidance on weather and water events leading to increased algal blooms and red tide months in advance, local climate sensitivities to droughts, probabilities of hot/cold conditions and their potential impacts on agriculture and fish kills or fish stress.