8.5 The Experimental Warning Program at the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed

Thursday, 14 January 2016: 4:30 PM
Room 338/339 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Kristin M. Kuhlman, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma/NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and G. S. Garfield, D. M. Kingfield, C. D. Karstens, D. LaDue, W. Line, T. C. Meyer, T. M. Smith, and G. J. Stumpf

Every spring National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters throughout the United States visit the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) to evaluate new technologies and products as part of the Experimental Warning Program (EWP). The EWP supports a mutual collaboration between researchers, private companies and operational forecasters as new products and services are developed, evaluated, and disseminated. Early evaluations by forecasters within the HWT provide a vital component in the successful transition between research and operations. Recent experiments in the HWT have evaluated multiple future products and technologies including: (1) the Probabilistic Hazards Information (PHI) tool for creation and issuance of storm-based probabilistic guidance, (2) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R series (GOES-R) convective and nowcasting applications consisting of Convective Initiation, Lightning Density, Lightning Jump, and probability of severe algorithms, and (3) Earth Network's Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts and other total lightning applications. Depending on the project, formal or informal research protocols were used to collect observations, data, and feedback. During the live experiment, blogging by the forecasters, online surveys, and post-event discussions were the most commonly used methods of data collection to learn how forecasters incorporated the new data in the warning-decision process. Additionally, the benefits of EWP activities in the HWT were designed to go beyond product-focused feedback: forecasters within the EWP gain access to the latest developments in meteorological research and upcoming changes to operations while researchers are able to better understand the demands of the operational forecast and warning environment. In 2015, both broadcast meteorologists and emergency managers participated in the EWP, expanding both the range of feedback and impact to operational utility.
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