201 Student Workshops for Severe Weather Warning Decision Making using AWIPS-2 at the University of Oklahoma

Monday, 23 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Alexander B. Zwink, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma and NWS/OCLO/WDTD, Norman, OK; and P. J. Ware, J. D. Hardy, S. Ernst, B. Holcomb, S. Riley, S. Mullens, M. A. Bowlan, C. D. Payne, A. V. Bates, B. Williams, and D. A. Morris

For several years, employees at the Cooperative Institute of Mesoscale Meteorological Studies at the University of Oklahoma (OU) that are affiliated with Warning Decision Training Division (WDTD) of the National Weather Service (NWS) provided training simulations to students from OU’s School of Meteorology (SoM). These simulations focused on warning decision making using Dual-Pol radar data products in an AWIPS-1 environment. Building on these previous experiences, CIMMS/WDTD recently continued the collaboration with the SoM Oklahoma Weather Lab (OWL) by holding a warning decision workshop simulating a NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) experience.

The workshop took place in the WDTD AWIPS-2 computer laboratory with 25 AWIPS-2 workstations and the WES-2 Bridge (Weather Event Simulator) software which replayed AWIPS-2 data. Using the WES-2 Bridge and the WESSL-2 (WES Scripting Language) event display, this computer lab has the state-of-the-art ability to simulate severe weather events and recreate WFO warning operations. OWL Student forecasters attending the workshop worked in teams in a multi-player simulation of the Hastings, Nebraska WFO on May 6th, 2015, where thunderstorms across the service area produced large hail, damaging winds, and multiple tornadoes.

This paper will discuss the design and goals of the WDTD/OWL workshop, as well as plans for holding similar workshops in the future.

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