18th Conference on Weather and Forecasting, 14th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction, and Ninth Conference on Mesoscale Processes

Wednesday, 1 August 2001
An Evaluation of the National Weather Service Severe Weather Warning Performance in Florida Based on the Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 (WSR-88D)
Fred R. Johnson, NOAA/NWS, Jacksonville, FL; and P. T. Welsh and C. Herbster
This study used a casual-comparative and an objective approach to determine if the National Weather Service’s (NWS) severe weather warning program improved significantly after the acceptance date of the Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 (WSR-88D) system. The acceptance date for the WSR-88D Doppler radar was a key milestone in the NWS modernization effort, which included building new facilities, moving and training new staff, and installing new technologies, like the WSR-88D Doppler radar.

This investigation was the first regional assessment of all the modernized NWS Florida offices using the NWS’s “StormData” severe weather verification database to evaluate the agency’s performance. The evaluation covered a ten-year period, from 5 years before to 5 years after the Doppler radar acceptance. The study’s results indicate that the NWS’s modernization and training efforts have dramatically improved Florida’s severe weather warning system. Suggestions are made for verification process improvement.

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