NWS Forecastersí Interpretations, Uses, and Needs regarding High-Resolution Ensemble Guidance
Julie Demuth, NCAR/MMM, Boulder, CO
Rebecca, Morss, NCAR/MMM
Isidora Jankov, NOAA/ESRL/GSD
Curtis Alexander, NOAA/ESRL/GSD
Trevor Alcott, NOAA/ESRL/GSD


Abstract
National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters have increasing amounts and types of model guidance available to them for assessing hazardous weather threats and communicating them to end-users. Recent model development and verification efforts have focused on guidance from high-resolution (i.e., convection-allowing) models and ensembles of them, including deterministic output from ensemble members as well as ensemble-based probabilistic output. Very little is known, however, about how forecasters access, interpret, and use this high-resolution ensemble guidance, nor about what guidance they need for their critical operational forecast challenges. To address these knowledge gaps, this presentation will discuss research conducted with NWS forecasters through participant observations and interviews with National Center forecasters and through semi-structured interviews with Weather Forecast Office (WFO) forecasters. Specifically, data were collected about each forecasterís job role and forecast process; adoption and current use of model guidance and verification information; needs for information from high-resolution ensembles; and interpretations and uses of example products from high-resolution ensembles. WFO data were collected from forecasters at offices located in the West, Mountain West, Midwest, and Southeast. The geographic variability in WFO representation allowed for data to be collected pertaining to heavy precipitation, winter weather, and severe weather threats. Results from this research--which is funded through a NOAA research-to-operations grant--will be used to inform the refinement and development of high-resolution ensemble guidance tools and associated verification information to increase the effectiveness of the science for the operational forecast community, for their core partners, and ultimately, for the end-users they serve.