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Safety, Health, Economic Impacts R. E. Carbone. I’m a researcher - basic weather and climate process studies. No training in safety, health or economics. I have lead national and international weather research programs dedicated to the improved prediction of “high impact” weather.

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safety health economic impacts r e carbone
Safety, Health, Economic ImpactsR. E. Carbone

I’m a researcher - basic weather and climate process studies.

No training in safety, health or economics.

I have lead national and international weather research programs dedicated to the improved prediction of “high impact” weather.

“Sydney 2000” reinforces my belief that there is an underexploited opportunity.

Do we grasp the benefits that could arise from a serious multi-sector engagement?

For the sake of focus, I’ll restrict my comments to short range weather prediction.

some pet peeves
Some Pet Peeves

Are we shackled by “uniformity of service” policies?

~2/3’s of our population lives on ~2% of the land

We should define “uniformity” in a way that benefits everyone.

Are we shackled by lack of clarity and coordination among governmental and private sector relationships?

I think so.

what differentiates urban zones
What Differentiates Urban Zones?

Sheer quantity of weather-sensitive activity

Wide range of sensitivities at any given time within a forecast zone

Fine scale of spatial and temporal co-mingling of various sensitivities

High public interest in relatively small weather changes

Potential economic importance of “routinely disruptive” weather

Relatively high density of weather, water and environmental monitoring

Proliferation of ad hoc nowcasting and very short range dynamical forecasts.

Omnipresent heavy-hitters…Transportation, Water, Emergency Management, Air Quality, Public Events, Recreation

And the Added Dimension of Homeland Security

Scanning Raman-shifted Eye-safe Aerosol Lidar (REAL): Pentagon, 7 May 2004REAL

Urban aerosol mapping, locating aerosol sources, monitoring dispersion of pollutants

Wavelength: 1.5 microns

High pulse energy

Range resolution: 3 m

Useful range: 500 m to several km

Rapid scanning

Complete eye-safety

information needed
Information Needed

An urban environment observing system.

Present Environment (PE) gridded and depicted at urban use scale (500m, 1 min)

Nowcasts of PE (trends and very short range forecasts)

Dynamically-based surface layer forecasts

Short range (dynamically-based) storm/environment forecasts.

Use-directed “significant impact” estimates and forecasts

Condition-keyed “optimal pathways” products

value of information
Value of Information

Baseline social scientist studies on current use and value for targeted user groups

Joint user-provider projections of high-value products and services

Micro-economic model forecasts of value

Forecast Demonstration Projects designed to provide products and services

Social Scientist observations of product and service usages, decision impacts

Detailed meteorological/environmental verification

Social Scientist interviews of targeted-users to quantify usages, decision impacts

User-provider evaluation of incremental value

education training outreach
Education, Training, Outreach

Education, training and outreach can be dominant factors.

A case in point

Aviation wind shear accident prevention circa 1985.

Discovery and understanding of microbursts was the key factor

Pilot training provided, based on visual clues, general meteorological conditions.

Accident rate plummeted, well before deployment of detection systems

actions now
Actions Now

Develop a national consensus on “uniformity of service” defined by categories of products and services best matched to rural, ex-urban and urban needs. “Comparable mitigation” of principal impacts could be a guiding criterion.

Providers and users should jointly design Urban Forecast Demonstration Projects in light of baseline socio-economic studies of current use and value. FDPs should be conducted in representative urbanized areas jointly with targeted user groups.

The incremental use and value, as measured by changes in decision-making, tangible benefits and verifiable improvements in weather information, should then be quantified by social scientists and users alike.

A “who does what” issue arises among various branches and levels of government and various private sector interests. This issue should not impede the R&D necessary to define the elements of the solution.

It would be best to constructively debate and test potential divisions of labor before operational implementations are understood.