7.3 Communications in the Eye of the Storm: Understanding NWS Decision Support Decisions

Wednesday, 10 January 2018: 11:00 AM
Ballroom E (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Sean Ernst, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and J. Sprague and K. E. Klockow-McClain

As part of the Weather-Ready Nation initiative, the National Weather Service (NWS) has sought to improve the Impact Decision Support Services (IDSS) it provides to its partners. However, to improve these relationships, a proper understanding of how they function must first be developed. This study seeks to define the relationships NWS forecasters build with their partners, through which the NWS provides effective IDSS. Warning Coordination Meteorologists (WCMs) from 40 NWS offices across the nation were sent a survey about their office’s IDSS use. Five of those offices were then randomly selected, and five others purposefully selected from the 19 that responded, for Critical Incident Technique interview sessions, from which themes were drawn using data-driven inductive coding. Eight respondents were then interviewed, revealing that the relationships between the NWS and their partners are based on a higher level knowledge based trust, which is built through face to face meetings. These relationships must also be built with as many of the forecasters in the WFO as possible, not just the WCM, well in advance of when storms strike. Using these themes, a survey for partners of market researchers designed by Moorman, Zaltman, and Deshpande (1992) was adapted to serve as a prototype method for NWS partners to provide feedback on the IDSS they receive during extreme events. This new survey, if shown to be a good measure of IDSS effectiveness, could potentially be used to help the NWS to better identify effective IDSS practices, as well as partners with whom individual offices need to work to build stronger relationships.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner