J7.4 Development of a National Hurricane Center Product for the Arrival of Tropical-Storm-Force Winds

Thursday, 26 January 2017: 11:15 AM
615 (Washington State Convention Center )
Robbie Berg, NOAA/NWS/National Hurricane Center, Miami, FL; and M. DeMaria, J. Schwietert, L. Girardi, B. H. Morrow, and G. M. Eosco

The arrival of sustained tropical-storm-force winds is a critical threshold for coastal communities. Emergency managers need this information to determine when to begin and complete coastal evacuations, while the public needs to know when to prepare their homes or businesses and get supplies. Once sustained tropical-storm-force winds begin, such preparations usually become too dangerous or difficult. 

Historically, most decision makers have inferred the arrival of tropical-storm-force winds from NHC products deterministically, without accounting for tropical cyclone track or size uncertainty. The risk in not factoring in these uncertainties is that communities may have less time to prepare if a tropical cyclone speeds up or increases in size beyond NHC’s initial forecasts. To better meet users’ needs, NHC is working with social scientists and GIS experts to develop graphical prototypes depicting when tropical-storm-force winds from an approaching tropical cyclone could arrive at individual locations. The social science testing has included one-on-one telephone interviews, focus groups, and online surveys with emergency managers and broadcast meteorologists to gather their opinions on the idea, content, and design of the product.  NHC will incorporate the results from this testing to develop a final prototype, with the intent of providing an experimental graphical product for the 2017 or 2018 hurricane season.

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