Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thank You, National Severe Storms Laboratory

Storm forecast briefing prior to the start of the afternoon's warning experiment
I have often commented that the National Weather Service (NWS) may be the best bargain federal taxpayers receive. They save lives and help things run better on (by federal standards) a tiny budget.

One of the things I appreciate is their goal of improving their products. With that in mind, I had the opportunity to take part in the National Severe Storms Laboratory's (NSSL) Hazardous Warning Testbed experiment earlier this week. NSSL is a sister agency of the NWS.
Experimental severe storm forecast product
The forecasters are assigned new products under development and make storm warnings using them. We could not see what the local NWS office's warnings and, of course, they could not see ours. At the end of each shift an internal blog and survey is filled out. This process is designed to evaluate new data and techniques to see if they improve the accuracy of the warning process.

As I learned, yet again, meteorologists are great people and it was a pleasure to be part of the process.

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