5.2 8-10-Day Probabilistic Forecasts: What Do Users Need to Understand and Use Longer-Range Uncertainty Information in Decision-Making?

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 1:45 PM
Ballroom E (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Rachel Hogan Carr, Nurture Nature Center, Easton, PA; and B. E. Montz, K. Maxfield, K. Semmens, D. Halperin, M. J. Bodner, J. A. Nelson Jr., J. Kastman, S. Ganetis, K. K. Gilbert, W. S. Lamberson, and J. Sprague

As forecast models and skill in communicating uncertainty advances, probabilistic information is becoming a more common part of forecasts issued to stakeholders and public audiences. The National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Prediction Center (WPC) currently issues precipitation and other forecasts in the 4-7 day time period. To meet rising demand for uncertainty information, WPC is developing user-tested products in the 8-10 day timeframe, and partnering with a research team to understand: what decisions are users making in the 8-10 day timeframe, what sort of uncertainty information is important to core users during this time, and how they need the information presented.

To address these questions, a research team from East Carolina University and Nurture Nature Center, working with WPC, conducted a study of users’ needs for probabilistic forecast information in the 8-10 day timeframe. Using surveys, interviews and focus groups, the research team created and iteratively tested 8-10 day probabilistic weather products and gathered feedback from stakeholders and end users about their needs for probabilistic forecast information in 8-10 day range. The team sought to understand the kinds of decisions core users make, how they use uncertainty information in those decisions, and how web-based products can best deliver information efficiently and clearly.

The presentation will provide insights into how stakeholders and core users want to integrate probabilistic forecast information, particularly in the 8-10 day time frame, into decision-making. Insights into how product design and delivery affect the use of products will also be discussed.

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