J7.3 Communicating the Impact of Polar-Orbiting Satellite Data on Numerical Weather Prediction to Stakeholders: Some Lessons Learned

Monday, 8 January 2018: 11:15 AM
Salon H (Hilton) (Austin, Texas)
James G. Yoe, NOAA/NWS/NCEP, College Park, MD; and S. A. Boukabara and S. Lord

The costs of developing, deploying, and operating environmental satellite sensors and systems has become subject to increasing scrutiny in recent years, and requests to quantify the benefit conveyed by these investments have become increasingly common. For example, NOAA has been asked to evaluate the impact on its numerical weather prediction (NWP) forecast skill resulting from the loss of portions of the operational polar-orbiting satellite sounding capability to inform high-level decision makers. From the successful presentation of results of studies conducted in response to these requests, several key lessons for communicating with these stakeholders may be identified. Among these are to: (1) anticipate which sensors and corresponding applications are likely to become subject to impact assessments, and plan how these may be performed accurately and efficiently if requested; (2) design studies that will address both the statistical significance and the practical significance of the results; (3) present impacts using multiple metrics to convey a balanced view of data impacts, and use case studies only to illustrate broader findings; (4) coordinate thoroughly with partners before presenting results; and (5) submit the findings for peer-review publication in the open literature, not only to confirm and document scientific validity, but to provide a basis for follow-on requests that are likely to be made. These lessons also can be applicable to conveying the importance of the satellite data to the general public, as they emphasize providing a common perspective between subject matter experts and lay people.
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