2B.4 An approach to creating an integrated graphical hazards outlook product

Monday, 1 August 2005: 11:15 AM
Ambassador Ballroom (Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington D.C.)
Robert R. Handel, NOAA/NWS, Miami, FL

Hazardous weather outlooks are currently being enhanced through the generation of complementary graphics at several NWS offices across the United States. A variety of approaches have resulted, all with the underlying goal of simply conveying complex weather hazards information to a variety of interests including emergency managers and the general public. By improving awareness and understanding of impending weather and oceanic hazards, we become more effective at inducing an appropriate response to these events, before, during, and after they occur thus mitigating their potential risk to life and property.

The Miami forecast office has generated a graphical Hazardous Weather Outlook for a couple years and an effort has been underway to strengthen the product even more. Our approach is in essence a hazards "funnel", focusing the information into greater detail at each level. A WFO level overview highlights the various hazards; maps pinpoint the locations of highest expected hazard impact; hazard-specific text information provides details regarding the expected type, intensity, and timing of the threat; while additional links direct users to related safety, educational, and historical materials. Impact levels were modified to closely equate with potential impact to life and property, provide consistency with other intra-agency hazard outlooks, while maintaining easily understood threshold values. This paper serves to introduce the meteorological community to our approach toward a graphical hazards product while soliciting feedback to further improve upon it.

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