Experimental NWS Graphical Short-Fuse Warnings

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Thursday, 8 January 2015: 2:15 PM
130 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Derek R. Deroche, NOAA/NWS, Kansas City, MO; and K. Scharfenberg, C. Pieper, and B. P. Walawender

The National Weather Service (NWS) has produced “short-fuse” warnings (Tornado, Severe Thunderstorm, and Flash Flood Warnings) for decades, in the form of an all-caps text product. One of the goals of NOAA's “Weather-Ready Nation” initiative is for the NWS to provide critical information in a variety of formats supporting a broad spectrum of users via multiple dissemination methods.

The NWS is now producing experimental short-fuse warnings graphics that are intended for general use by the public and NWS Core Partners in the broadcast/electronic media, emergency management, and other government agencies. The purpose of these experimental graphics, which are automatically-generated in companion to each issuance of a text short-fuse warning, is to increase accessibility to the warning information via interfaces that are not conducive to long text products. In addition, this experimental service encourages users to share the warning graphic via social media. Along with a radar image, warning information, and storm details, the graphics also include storm impact information such as population affected, number of schools and hospitals, and miles of railroad and Interstate highways. These warning graphics are being disseminated by both traditional (NWS web pages) and non-traditional (Twitter via the @NWSTornado and @NWSSevereTstorm accounts) sources.

This presentation will introduce the service along with example output from a variety of real warnings. Preliminary feedback from the public and NWS Core Partners will also be discussed. The presentation will also outline the expansion plans for the 2015 severe weather season which includes the use of FACETS data and the conducting of focus groups at the NWS Operations Proving Ground.