The National Severe Storms Laboratory has developed a prototype PHI tool which allows forecasters to integrate probabilistic guidance and their own interpretations of the atmosphere to issue PHI for severe convective hazards - hail, wind, and tornadoes. Integrating these capabilities into National Weather Service (NWS) operations requires adapting an experimental version of the NWS Advanced Weather Information Processing System (AWIPS) Hazard Services software to include the capabilities for forecasters to provide PHI at the 0-2 hour “warning” scale.
For 3 weeks in Spring 2017, two forecasters per week used Hazard Services – PHI (HS-PHI) in a variety of displaced real-time scenarios. Meteorologists, software developers, and human factors experts collected data on the effectiveness of the software and the concepts of PHI for NWS warning operations. What was learned from this experiment is being used to further refine HS-PHI for the upcoming 2018 experiment, after which it could eventually be integrated into NWS operations. In addition, probabilistic capabilities are being prototyped for National Centers WPC Weather Prediction Center) and SPC (Storm Prediction Center).