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National Weather Service

Next Generation Warning Services

John Ferree

Severe Storms Services

NOAA National Weather Service

NWS Partners Meeting

AMS 2009 Annual Meeting

Phoenix, AZ

January 15, 2009


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How to Improve Warning Services?

  • Where we are today

  • Technology on the horizon

  • Understanding user needs


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Results … 35,700,000 for Local Weather

Where we are today

  • Tornado warning lead time at 14 minutes

  • Private sector meteorology businesses

    • From ~$940M in 1995 to > $2B in 2007*

  • Weather frequently used to draw customers to web sites

  • In numerous broadcast markets, viewers select local news based on the on-air meteorologist

*From: The Private Sector in Meteorology – An Update

David B. Spiegler, AMS 2007


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Where we are today

  • Weather contributes to 70%of all air traffic delayswithin the U.S. airspace

    • The FAA determined twothirds of this is preventablewith better weatherinformation

  • “The total cost of domestic air traffic delays to the U.S. economy was as much as $41 billion for 2007.”*

*From: Your Flight Has Been Delayed Again;

Congressional Joint Economic Committee; May 2008


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How do we improve warnings services?Better Technology

  • NEXRAD Dual Polarization Upgrade

  • Multi-radar, Multi-sensor Grids

  • AWIPS II

  • Mesoscale and Stormscale Ensemble Models

  • Boundary layer radars

  • Phased array radar

  • NPOESS

  • GOES R

  • MADIS

  • And so on

Multi-function Phased Array Radar Depiction


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How do we improve warnings services?Understanding User Needs

  • Highly mobile society

    • World’s population of mobile phoneusers to increase from 50% to 80%by 2013 (5.8 billion people)

  • Need for instant access

    • Recent survey - 50% would rather use a mobile device (i.e., smart phone) to access Internet than desktop/laptop

  • Weather savvy consumers

  • Greater accessibility to technology

From: The Private Sector in Meteorology – The Next Ten Years

Maria A. Pirone, AER, Inc., 2008


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How do we improve warning services?Understand User Needs

  • Higher expectations

    • Demand for more local weather

    • Demand for better forecasts

  • Public awarenessof disaster impacts

  • Population growthalong the weathersensitive coastlinesand fire prone areas


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Next Generation WarningServices Workshop

  • Goals

    • Enable the public and partners to:

      • Fully participate in requirements

      • Share details on new technologies &capabilities

      • Maximize satisfaction with the quality, usability and flexibility of NWS’ future warning services


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Next Generation WarningServices Workshop

http://www.weather.gov/warningworkshop/


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Workshop Outcomes“Items of Consensus”

  • Involve social scientists

  • Educate and inform public on hazard impacts, products and services

  • Coordinate with a widespectrum of users priorto making policy changes

  • Expand “Hazard-based”(e.g. polygon) warningsto additional weather elements


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1 hour threat swath

Workshop Outcomes“Items of Consensus”

  • Improve text based products

  • Use Chat-based software forcommunication with mediaand emergency managers

  • Provide graphical hazard datain raw format for partners toeasily ingest/utilize.

  • Focus warnings to cover "What", "Where", "When", and "Intensity" in a clearly delineated format


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Workshop Outcomes“Items of Some Debate”

  • Alternatives to Watch/Warning/Advisory

  • Use of Probabilistic Hazard Information

  • Quantitative Criteria vs Impact-Based Criteria

  • Need for “Calls-to-Action” in Warnings


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Next Generation Warning ServicesSummary

  • Accurate and timely warning services for high-impact events arecritical to NWS success

  • How do we get better?

    • Better technology

    • Keep track of major trends

      • Mobile Internet Devices, GIS,GPS, Social Networking, etc.

    • Meet user and partner needs


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Contact Information

[email protected]

405-325-2209


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