Monday, 10 January 2005
DESIGN OF A SITUATION AWARENESS DISPLAY FOR OPERATIONAL FORECASTERS
DESIGN OF A SITUATION AWARENESS DISPLAY
FOR OPERATIONAL FORECASTERS
A relatively inexpensive system for increasing situational awareness of NWS forecasters to hazards was developed and deployed at the WFO in Norman, OK in early spring of 2004. The Situation Awareness Display System (SADS) is a network of PCs connected to multiple large-screen LCD monitors which display real-time information concerning expected or ongoing significant events or hazards (see photo below). The SADS ingests data from NWS operational data streams as well as from external sources such as the Oklahoma Mesonet and converts it to relevant and easily deciphered information, usually in a graphic format. The displays are categorized by hazard types and are automatically displayed when forecast or observed hazardous conditions are occurring. WFO forecasters can also customize the displays manually. Television feeds (audio and video) from multiple networks are also displayed. This was found to be particularly helpful during severe convective events as broadcast meteorologists provided timely reports of observed severe weather.
Key differences between the SADS and other display systems are its non-interactivity and efficiency of communication. During periods of active weather, finite resources are stretched. The SADS acquires and displays information to multiple users with little intervention. Design and implementation details of the SADS will be discussed as well as future plans.