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POLYGON WEATHER WARNINGS – A NEW APPROACH FOR THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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POLYGON WEATHER WARNINGS – A NEW APPROACH FOR THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE . Ken Waters National Weather Service, Honolulu HI May 17, 2005 Public Service Meeting – Park City, UT. Background. National Weather Service issues four types of short-fused warnings: Tornado Warnings (TOR)

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POLYGON WEATHER WARNINGS – A NEW APPROACH FOR THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

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POLYGON WEATHER WARNINGS – A NEW APPROACHFOR THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

Ken Waters

National Weather Service, Honolulu HI

May 17, 2005

Public Service Meeting – Park City, UT


Background

  • National Weather Service issues four types of short-fused warnings:

    • Tornado Warnings (TOR)

    • Severe Thunderstorm Warnings (SVR)

    • Flash Flood Warnings (FFW)

    • Special Marine Warnings (SMW)

  • Issued normally for one county at a time

    • Can lead to a large false-alarm area, especially in the case of large or irregular-sized counties

  • Verification has been strictly county-based

  • Legacy dissemination methods all tied to counties:

    • NOAA All-Hazards/Weather Radio

      • Uses SAME alert code based on counties

    • Internet displays – again, based on counties

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


WARNGEN

  • Allows forecaster to graphically highlight the area of greatest threat

  • Creates a template text product for the warning, including proper headers, issue/expiration times, county UGC codes

  • ALSO: includes latitude/longitude vertex points for the pathcast, or polygon warning --- LITTLE USED by NWS, partners, and public

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Using GIS with Polygon Warnings

  • Polygon vertices well-suited to include in GIS

  • Mechanism was established to strip off the lat-long polygon information, database the polygons, and create real-time GIS shapefiles

  • Using only open source (“freeware”) software

    • Code written in Perl

    • Polygon values formatted in ESRI “gen” format

    • Use “gen2shp” and “txt2dbf” packages

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


County vs. Polygon

  • Latitude/Longitude points at the bottom of all TORs, SVRs, FFWs, and SMWs.

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Polygon Advantages

  • Shows specifically where the threat is

  • More accurately shows warning area on systems displaying warnings graphically

  • Reduction of risk area to public

  • Better graphical description capabilities

  • Wider local distribution via cell phones, PDAs, etc.

  • Increase NWS role in the confirmation part of the warning process

  • Private sector starting to turn to polygons

  • Allows NWS to refine warnings to true threat area

  • Allows us to track and set goals for false alarm area

  • Better warning quality

  • Keeps NWS in technological step

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Polygon Advantages

Polygon Eliminates

Area False

Alarmed

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


NWS Identifies a Need

  • Feb. 2004: Regions meet to study this issue

  • Mar. 2004: Meeting Information presented to MSD Chiefs

  • Apr. 2004: Gen. Johnson asks PR Regional Director Jeff LaDouce to commission a polygon warning team

  • June 2004: Meeting information presented to Ops Committee

  • June 2004: Polygon Team Chartered

  • Aug. 2004: First formal Polygon Team Meeting

  • Sept. 2004: Verification Scoring Sub-team Launched

  • Jan. 2005: AMS Presentation

  • Mar. 2005: Prototype Test Started

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Team Members

  • Mike Looney, CRH (facilitator)

  • Mike Coyne, SRH

  • Steve Naglic, WCM WFO Columbia SC (ER)

  • Pete Wolf, SOO WFO Wichita, KS (CR)

  • Jeff Lorens, WRH

  • Brent McAloney (OCWWS)

  • Rich Okulski (OCWWS)

  • Noreen Schwein, CRH (Hydrology)

  • Joe Shaffer, SPC

  • Ken Waters, PRH

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Prototype Test

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Jackson MS Apr 5-7“Trial by fire”

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


And now, some examples, using 2004 warnings

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Tornado Warnings -- 2004

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Tornado WarningsFlorida 2004

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Severe Thunderstorm Warnings

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Severe Thunderstorm Warnings

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Tendency to align warnings to county borders continued in 2004

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Flash Flood Warnings

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Special Marine Warnings

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Flash Flood Warningsstill very “county-based”

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Applications For Viewing Polygon Warnings

  • CONUS map showing warnings, updated each minute: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/regsci/gis/

  • ArcIMS map service for historical viewing: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/regsci/gis/

  • Texas A&M Site (warnings + radar): http://www.prh.noaa.gov/regsci/gis/warn.html

  • Iowa Mesonet:http://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/GIS/apps/rview/warnings.phtml

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Display of warnings onlyhttp://www.prh.noaa.gov/regsci/gis/

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Busy Day….!

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


ArcIMS Map Servicehttp://www.prh.noaa.gov/regsci/gis/warn.html

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Includes LSR data from SPC

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Texas A&M Mesonet Sitehttp://mesonet.tamu.edu/PolygonTest/

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Iowa Environmental Mesonethttp://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/GIS/apps/rview/warnings.phtml

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


The Challenges

  • Internal to NWS

    • Forecaster paradigm shift to focus on weather threat

    • Workload issues keeping track of warnings

      • Ensuring events don’t slip between nearly adjacent warnings

    • Verification measures

      • Changes to GPRA baselines

      • Special verification issues (e.g., multiple warnings for same county)

    • Software

      • WARNGEN error -- periodically issues 2-point polygons well out of CWA

  • External to NWS

    • Dissemination!

      • Many TV Stations not prepared to display polygons

        • Niche market for private sector (e.g., WeatherData)

      • NOAA All-Hazards Radio

        • Technical limitation: location is based only on county

        • New generation of NWR needs to allow users to input either lat/long or nearest city to take advantage of polygon technology

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


Questions?

  • Updated every minute for TOR, SVR, FFW, SMW, as well as SPC watches

  • Available at:

    • http://www.srh.noaa.gov/hq/regsci/gis

Ken Waters

Regional Scientist

NWS Pacific Region

Honolulu, Hawaii

[email protected]

(808) 532-6413

Ken Waters, NWS Pacific Region


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