S149 Using NWSChat to Strengthen the Integrated Warning Team: Operational Applications of External Event Integration

Sunday, 7 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 5 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Robert MacDonald, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

For nearly a decade, NWSChat has served as the National Weather Service's primary means of real-time communication with its Integrated Warning Team (IWT) partners. In recent years, NWSChat logs have been the at the center of numerous studies in attempts to better assess IWT communication trends during severe weather events. Traditional methods of analyzing NWSChat logs have involved static breakdowns of chat users and post quantity by IWT affiliation, however, many do not assess event specific chat trends over time.

This study involves the development of an event specific temporal analysis technique for NWSChat logs from recent high impact severe weather days across the central United States. This method involves external event integration when processing chat log posts by incorporating Chat External Events (CEC's) to better assess the temporal influence of both internal and external factors on IWT participation within NWSChat. Preliminary findings indicate that the timing of CEC's such as watch and warning issuance, mesoscale discussions, outlook updates, and other real-time external events, have an immediate and lasting effect on the magnitude, duration, and frequency of IWT partner participation in NWSChat rooms.

By better understanding temporal trends within NWSChat rooms and the influence of chat external events, forecasters can better anticipate future chat trends, post frequency and user participation. This can allow forecasters to prepare and employ strategic chat communication techniques to earlier address confusion and answer questions; a crucial and time saving benefit during severe weather operations.

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