1.3 Implementation of the WFO Tulsa Vision for Local Impact-Based Decision Support Services

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 9:15 AM
Salon K (Hilton) (Austin, Texas)
Karen Hatfield, NOAA/NWSFO, Tulsa, OK; and S. F. Piltz, E. J. Calianese Jr., J. M. Frederick, J. B. McGavock, and M. E. Plate
Manuscript (3.4 MB)

With the National Weather Service’s (NWS) increased focus on providing Impact-Based Decision Support Services (IDSS) to core partner groups, discussion and planning has occurred across the agency concerning how best to accommodate the increased workload within the existing staffing framework while still producing accurate, consistent forecast information. Much of the dialogue has focused on streamlining the daily forecast process to afford extra time for IDSS activities.

Since the mid-2000s, meteorologists at the NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have successfully simplified the IDSS process by connecting it directly to the forecast process. By creating a direct connection between the gridded forecast database and IDSS, forecasters routinely distribute hazardous weather information in multiple non-traditional formats while placing a more traditional focus on the forecast itself. This ensures consistency among a variety of communication methods, including dynamic web pages, briefing packages, video recordings, and text products. With this vision, effort placed into crafting a good forecast naturally and efficiently translates into a variety of IDSS activities.

To accomplish the vision, WFO Tulsa meteorologists developed numerous in-house tools that allow forecasters to provide a suite of IDSS, ranging from venue-specific to broader-scale needs, through leveraging information contained in the gridded human forecast data and various observational and model forecast datasets. These tools create web pages, graphics, briefing slide packages, and even traditional text products. Most of these IDSS tools require little to no additional forecaster intervention to produce updated output, and the information updates as the gridded forecast, observational, or model data change. Other tools offer a reasonable head start toward complete information delivery, allowing more effort to be expended toward the addition of information supplemental to the gridded forecast, such as impact-specific timing and messaging. This presentation will provide an overview of the WFO Tulsa IDSS toolset, including a discussion of its successful use in an operational setting, details on the individual tools, presentation of relevant forecast verification data, and a sample of feedback from core partner groups.

*Corresponding author address: Karen A. Hatfield, NWS Tulsa 10159 E. 11th St. Suite 300, Tulsa, OK 74128; email: karen.hatfield@noaa.gov

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