3.6 The Role of the Oklahoma Mesonet in Decision Support Services for a Weather-Ready Nation

Monday, 11 January 2016: 5:00 PM
Room 245 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
David L. Andra Jr., NOAA/NWS/Weather Forecast Office, Norman, OK

Since its inception in the early 1990s the Oklahoma Mesonet has grown to become a premier surface weather observing system and an important data source for decision support services at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Norman, OK. From the tragic bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in 1995 to deadly wildfires, tornadoes, ice storms, and floods the Mesonet has supplied high quality, reliable weather information that helped support enhanced forecasts and warnings to key decision makers across the state. To better understand the role of high temporal and spatial surface weather observations recent significant weather events were examined and forecasts/warnings were compared to those obtainable with radar, ASOS and NWS Cooperative data alone. The results of the comparison demonstrate improved forecast/warning skill and decreased uncertainty when Mesonet data are considered in the decision making process.
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