11.4 Design and Evaluation of Operational Support Systems for Flash Flood Forecasting

Thursday, 14 January 2016: 4:00 PM
Room 255/257 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Elizabeth M. Argyle, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and J. J. Gourley, S. M. Martinaitis, Z. L. Flamig, and K. Manross

In its second year, participants in the Hydrometeorological Testbed Hydrology Experiment (HMT-Hydro 2015) used experimental Flooded Locations and Simulated Hydrographs (FLASH) tools to issue experimental flash flood watches and warnings for three weeks in July 2015. One addition over previous testbed experiments was the inclusion of Hazard Services and flash flood recommenders. Currently in development by the Global Systems Division (GSD) of NOAA, the National Weather Service (NWS), and Raytheon, Hazard Services is a supplement to AWIPS-II that allows forecasters to issue short- and long-fused watches, warnings, and advisories from a single user interface. Furthermore, Hazard Services will eventually provide a suite of recommenders—polygons drawn by an automated system based on a set of guidance tools.

While prior studies have tested Hazard Services in an operational environment, HMT-Hydro 2015 included the first effort for evaluating the system's usability. Forecasters took part in a usability evaluation that provided insight into the effects of the system's interface design on usability, learnability, and memorability. In addition, forecasters evaluated a set of four flash flood experimental recommenders throughout each week of the testbed. The recommenders, each based on one of four of the experimental FLASH tools, were designed for the sole purpose of use in the testbed. This presentation will discuss the evaluation of Hazard Services and experimental flash flood recommenders based on observations, quantitative surveys, and qualitative feedback from HMT-Hydro 2015.

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