9.4 National Weather Service's Development of a Fire Weather Performance Management Suite

Thursday, 14 January 2016: 11:45 AM
Room 255/257 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Brenton William MacAloney II, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and L. Van Bussum, R. Heffernan, and D. C. Young

National Weather Service (NWS) Headquarters began operating under a new organizational structure on April 1, 2015 to support the Weather-Ready Nation initiative. As part of this organizational restructuring, the Performance and Evaluation Branch was tasked with developing a plan to track and monitor the performance of forecast and warning services of all NWS's eleven national service programs in the Analyze, Forecast and Support (AFS) portfolio. The Fire Weather program is one of the first service programs in which development is taking place.

The NWS's Fire Weather service program has a long history of tracking performance by manually verifying its forecast and warning products. Because of the products and the observational elements needed to verify those products, the NWS never created a fully automated performance tracking program that required little or no manual intervention. With the expanding number of fire weather products and observations being disseminated and made available in recent years, the NWS now finds itself in a position to automate performance tracking of these products.

The NWS has identified the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) forecasts, Red Flag Warnings (RFW), and Fire Weather Spot Forecasts (FWS) as products in which performance tracking may be automated based on observations and existing verification methodologies. The NWS also identified Incident Meteorologist (IMET) dispatch timeliness as the initial area in which automated performance tracking should begin.

This presentation will provide an overview of the efforts currently underway within the NWS to develop a fire weather performance management suite. Specifically, it will address efforts to transfer the Joint Fire Science Program Spot Forecast Verification Project's to operations at the NWS, development of an IMET Dispatch and Incident Management Tool, the modernization and relaunching of the NWS's NFDRS verification program, and automation of RFW verification.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner