2002 Annual

Monday, 14 January 2002: 4:29 PM
Effective Use of AWIPS Warning Systems at NWS Tampa Bay, Florida
Barry S. Goldsmith, NOAA/NWS, Ruskin, FL; and R. F. Morales
Poster PDF (922.1 kB)
AWIPS was installed at NWS Tampa Bay in the Spring of 1999. Since then, the efficiency of the short fused warning process has improved - to the benefit of the more than 4 million customers. Event detection has improved, false alarms have dropped, and lead times - once believed to be nearly impossible for Florida pulse severe storms - continue to increase.

Modifications to the warning generation (WarnGen) procedures are discussed. These adjustments allow radar forecasters to precisely tailor their warning messages solely by mouse clicks; text typing is saved for supplemental information, such as incoming reports of hazardous weather. This process saves critical time, especially in the pulse-severe thunderstorm environment of the Florida peninsula.

The WarnGen modifications also include the creation of coastal waters sub-zones, which allow marine warnings to be produced for smaller areas directly affected by strong to severe pulse storms, rather than the default large coastal zones.

The process of automated dissemination of warnings via NOAA Weather Radio 2000 (NWR- 2000) is briefly described. WarnGen text-producing templates were adjusted to not only create concise messages for the media, but to create well-phrased messages which are understandable to NWR- 2000 listeners. A brief description of the Console Replacement System (CRS) AWIPS Formatters Extended (CAFÉ), as a conduit for instantaneous dissemination of messages to NWR 2000, is provided.

Benefits of the improved warning system continue to be realized. The combination of well trained meteorologists, new storm observing and detecting tools, a vigorous verification effort, and AWIPS warning systems, have allowed the provision of increasingly high quality short fused warning service to customers of NWS Tampa Bay.

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