An Update on the Central Region Impact-Based Warning Demonstration

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 8:45 AM
Room C107 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Michael J. Hudson, NOAA/NWS, Kansas City, MO; and B. Perry

In 2012, the National Weather Service (NWS) Central Region launched a demonstration called Impact-Based Warnings (IBW) in five Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) in Kansas and Missouri. This initial demonstration was evaluated in late 2012, both internally by NWS Central Region as well as independently by the group Weather for Emergency Management (WxEM). Based on the findings developed by these joint evaluations, IBW was expanded in 2013 to all 38 WFOs in Central Region.

The continued focus of IBW has remained on increasing community response to weather information through enhanced decision support services to partners such as the emergency management (EM) community and the media. Measuring success for the IBW evaluation centers on how changes made to the warning products relate to the collective ability of the NWS, emergency management community and the media to assess, communicate, and manage severe convective weather risks. This involved an evaluation of the effectiveness of 1) forecaster assessment of the potential impacts, 2) the packaging of the situational understanding about a storm event and its “urgency,” 3) the transfer of this knowledge to NWS partners (primarily emergency management and the media), and 4) whether and how that knowledge affects critical decisions made by these partners such that they or the public alter their actions.

This presentation will detail key findings taken from the data collected during the 2013 demonstration across Central Region. In addition to the ongoing partnership with WxEM, NWS Central Region also partnered with Sea Grant to conduct an extended data collection and analysis from a diverse cross-section of offices across Central Region. Methodologies used to collect and analyze data during the expanded IBW Demonstration period (April 2013 through late summer) will also be discussed to establish context and history, especially as the findings relate to the initial 2012 demonstration. The presentation will also recommend next steps for NWS in considering how to baseline and expand IBW services across NWS.