83rd Annual

Tuesday, 11 February 2003
Experimental Meteorological Products in the Operational Environment: Real-Time Access, Training, and Feedback
Louisa B. Nance, CIRES/Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO; and A. N. Keane, D. J. Gottas, W. R. Schneider, and F. M. Ralph
Interactions between a research team and the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast offices in California as part of the California Land-falling Jets Experiment (Jan-Mar 1998) suggested that real-time availability of experimental data could be of substantial benefit to local forecasting in coastal regions, particularly the NWS Watch-Warning program. Based on this experience, the Regional Weather and Climate Applications Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Environmental Technoloy Laboratory (ETL) has actively pursued opportunities to provide NWS forecasters on both the West and East Coasts of the United States with real-time access to experimental data during subsequent field deployments. Through our experiences, we have discovered that simply providing real-time access to experimental data is not sufficient. For the operational community to make effective use of experimental data, training on how to access the data and potential forecast applications needs to be provided. Two types of training have been utilized during these deployments: teletraining and office visits. In addition, mechanisms need to be in place to collect feedback from the forecasters to assess the impact of the experimental products on the forecast process. Given the constraints of the operational environment, such mechanisms need to collect feedback in real-time and the methods must have a minimal impact on a forecaster's workload. Three feedback strategies have been tested during recent field deployments: a web-based feedback form, feedback via Area Forecast Discussions, and a special email address. The reaction of the operational community to these interactions has been very positive. This paper will describe our approach during recent field deployments and the lessons we have learned on how to build an effective working relationship between the research and operational communities.

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