J9.1 FACETs and the Probability of What Project: Research to Operations Progress and Challenges in Understanding and Conveying Uncertainty

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 8:30 AM
608 (Washington State Convention Center )
Alan Gerard, NOAA/OAR/NSSL, Norman, OK; and L. Rothfusz

Forecasting a Continuum of Environmental Threats (FACETs) is a proposed next-generation severe weather watch and warning framework that is modern, flexible, and designed to communicate clear and simple hazardous weather information to serve the public.  This initiative originated in the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) with a focus on severe convective weather and flash flooding.  Over the last two years, NSSL has worked closely with partners in the National Weather Service, emergency management, and America’s Weather Enterprise to develop a plan to enable FACETs to move the hazardous weather service programs for severe weather and flash flooding from the current focus on binary, deterministic information to a system based on probabilistic hazard information (PHI) which will form an information continuum at all temporal scales.  FACETs would also fully integrate social science into this transformative process from the outset, ensuring that a new PHI centric system would result in improved societal outcomes in comparison to the current warning system.

In 2015, a US Weather Research Program (USWRP) grant was awarded to NSSL, along with collaborators at the Storm Prediction Center, Weather Prediction Center, Environmental Systems Research Lab, University of Oklahoma, and University of Akron, to begin the initial physical and social science research projects necessary to begin to make the FACETs vision a reality for severe weather and flash flood hazardous weather services.  This three-year project of projects, called “Probability of What?  Understanding and Conveying Uncertainty through Probabilistic Hazard Services,” has already begun to yield important results. This presentation will provide details on and results from this first year of research work, with a particular focus on the research to operations and testbed efforts of the “Probability of What?” project.

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