85th AMS Annual Meeting

Monday, 10 January 2005: 9:30 AM
Point Forecast Matrices in Heat/Health Warning Systems: Meeting the Challenges of Expansion
Douglas C. Young, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD
NOAA's National Weather Service Point Forecast Matrices (PFM) product has been the primary source of meteorological input variables for several Heat/Health Warning Systems (HHWS) this past summer. Inherent flexibility in the PFM has thus far allowed the product to adapt to the growing needs of HHWS. However, as the number of Weather Service Forecast Offices (WFOs) employing HHWS increases, and as forecasts extend further in time, new challenges must be met to ensure the PFM remains the most viable source of input data.

To meet these challenges, the NWS is taking steps to optimize the PFMs for use in HHWS through the following: (1) improving the accuracy of the digital data used to populate the product; (2) streamlining the process of accessing the data; and (3) ensuring product format consistency. This paper discusses the continuing efforts of the NWS to address the aforementioned considerations, provides a brief overview of the PFM and its application in HHWS, and takes a first look at the newly expanded 5-day HHWS in Philadelphia and Dallas/Ft. Worth.

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