1.3 NWS Central Region: Our Evolution Toward a Weather Ready Nation

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 2:00 PM
615 (Washington State Convention Center )
Christopher S. Strager, NWS, Kansas City, MO; and M. J. Hudson and J. P. Craven

The Weather Ready Nation (WRN) Roadmap version 2.0 was released in Spring of 2013.  Many key concepts in the document included fundamental changes in services that were driven by advances in science and technology.  Our purpose in the presentation is to steps that have been taken to execute this roadmap and the incremental results that we have achieved. 

National Weather Service (NWS) Central Region (CR) has launched several initiatives designed to develop and test out concepts that support WRN goals.  We strive for consistency in our products and services, so a joint union-management CR Consistency Team was created to prioritize projects. We will focus on the following subset of concepts from the WRN Roadmap. 


  • Shift from product-focused service to interpretation and consultation

Issuing the forecast once was the end of the forecast process.  Moving forward, it is becoming the middle of the process.  We are testing ways to consult our primary emergency management and government customers and interpret the forecasts to them in an interactive fashion.  A testbed of several CR forecast offices are focusing on Impact-Based Decision Support Services (IDSS).


  • Establish an overarching capability of foundational datasets to form a Common Operating Picture (COP) to better support the Weather Enterprise

Issuing deterministic forecasts has been the foundation of NWS for decades.  And we often have local, regional, and national forecast offices issuing different forecast products.  To avoid the confusion of having multiple and possibly inconsistent forecasts, CR is working with the Weather Prediction Center to develop a Fully Integrated Field Structure.   The first step is improving the consistency of Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts (QPF).


  • Deliver information in a way that conveys its potential impact to support good decision-making and planning

Deterministic forecasts do not easily provide information about confidence and potential alternative scenarios.  Moving forward, use of calibrated probabilistic forecast information should become the foundation of our COP and should focus on more than just forecast parameters and thresholds.   The probability of impacts needs to drive how we deliver our message.  For example, it is more important when heavy snowfall occurs (ie rush hour during the week) rather than the exact storm total snowfall.

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