8.3 National Weather Service's Modernization of Storm Data to Create a High-Resolution Events Database

Wednesday, 13 January 2016: 11:00 AM
Room 348/349 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Brenton William MacAloney II, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD

The National Weather Service (NWS) has been responsible for archiving Storm Data, the official database of severe, unusual and high-impact weather events, for well over a half-century. Events logged in Storm Data are surveyed, collected, and validated by 123 forecast offices around the United States and made available to the public via the National Centers for Environmental Information's (NCEI) Storm Events Database.

To address the growing need for a high-resolution, geospatial database of severe and high impact weather events, the NWS began development efforts to modernize their Storm Data collection program in 2015. After meeting with various stakeholders, from those NWS employees who enter events into the Storm Data software to those who use the database for research and analysis, the NWS's Performance and Evaluation Branch developed a set of requirements for a modernized program and database.

The most significant change in the Storm Data events database will relate to the way events are entered and stored. All events, regardless of storm type or impact area, will be georeferenced and available in geospatial vector data format for users. Regarding the entry and archival of severe weather events, the modernized Storm Data events database will import and display events as they were surveyed and logged by NWS employees using the Damage Assessment Toolkit (DAT). This entry and archive method will allow users to have access to high-resolution tornado and severe thunderstorm wind event data that was previously unavailable.

This presentation will provide an overview of inadequacies in the current Storm Data collection program and database and show examples of how the modernized Storm Data collection program and database will address these shortcomings.

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