Near-Storm Environment Application Tools in the NWS Operations Proving Ground
Derrick Snyder, University of Oklahoma - CIMMS/National Weather Service Operations Proving Ground, Kansas City, MO
Kim Runk, National Weather Service Operations Proving Ground
Chad Gravelle, University of Wisconsin - CIMSS/National Weather Service Operations Proving Ground
Katie Crandall Vigil, University of Oklahoma - CIMMS/National Weather Service Operations Proving Ground
Matt Foster, National Weather Service Central Region Headquarters
In May and June 2017, the National Weather Service (NWS) Operations Proving Ground (OPG) invited 12 NWS forecasters from diverse locations around the country to participate in an Operational Impact Evaluation of a field-developed decision aid called the Near-Storm Environment Application (NSEA) tool. A group of NWS Science and Operations Officers (SOOs) originated the NSEA project in a collaborative effort to provide forecasters a convenient way to effectively interrogate the near-storm environment during severe weather warning operations.
Using a combination of historical simulations and live data exercises, participating forecasters† incorporated NSEA tools into a variety of warning scenarios, ranging from pulse convection to supercells. During some simulations, forecasters were placed in the role of warning forecasters at neighboring Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs). In others, they were assigned to operate as a team within the same WFO. In all cases, forecasters issued warnings and follow-up products as appropriate (e.g., tornado warning, severe thunderstorm warning, flash flood warning, etc.). Afterwards, feedback was collected via written surveys and informal discussions to assess the utility of integrating NSEA tools into the participantsí operational decisions. This presentation will discuss the evaluation process, and outline findings and recommendations of this evaluation.