2.6 Enhanced Decision Support Services in Action—Cultivating a Deep Core Relationship with the U.S. Coast Guard and Others through Engaging Web Services

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 11:45 AM
Salon K (Hilton) (Austin, Texas)
Noel S. Keene, NWS, Medford, OR; and K. B. Kasper and S. B. Nelaimischkies

The National Weather Service is evolving toward the provision of impact-based decision support services to partners who save lives and property. One such partner is the U.S. Coast Guard, an agency whose operators routinely rely on National Weather Service data, information, and knowledge for safe and timely operations. A team of National Weather Service employees has developed an efficient and effective means of delivering actionable weather information to the U.S. Coast Guard while building partnerships along the way. In 2008, based on communication with U.S. Coast Guard Sector North Bend, the National Weather Service in Medford, Oregon initiated a local effort to provide a one-stop-shop web page for Search and Rescue pilots. The web page allowed the pilots to access relevant National Weather Service web products quickly, in an environment where seconds can mean the difference between life and death. Feedback from this initial work informed subsequent development of a more comprehensive web page, which has evolved to support a variety of weather-sensitive decisions related to both operations and training. Moreover, the web page has served as a catalyst to further improve the partnership between the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Weather Service. The web developers continually evaluated and improved the quality of the page using digital analytics, surveys, and dialogue with page users. For example, digital metrics of user engagement with the web page prompted the development of local freezing level maps tailored to operational sensitivities. In 2014, the fledgling service was expanded to U.S. Coast Guard Sector Key West, an operating area with very different weather impacts and unique needs. The Key West web page supported approximately 600 Search and Rescue cases in 2016 alone. The primary short-term goal for this project is to better enable the U.S. Coast Guard to make weather-sensitive decisions which support the safety and productivity of its operators. The long-term goal is development of web pages for all 37 U.S. Coast Guard Sectors. Achievement of these goals will further build trust and confidence with this valued partner.
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