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Experimental Winter Storm Outlook
Data Mining Tool
Outreach / Education
The Winter Storm Outlook (WSO) builds upon the Winter Weather Watch Collaborator and the probability of winter storm warning criteria exceedance. The concept of a Winter Weather Watch Collaborator was first developed at the Weather Prediction Center (WPC) in 2014 and is based on a combination of WPC's Probabilistic Winter Precipitation Forecasts (PWPF) and local National Weather Service (NWS) 12- and 24-hour snow and ice accumulation warning criteria. The WSO acts as an aid to assist NWS decision making with regard to winter storm watch/warning issuance. Similar to severe weather outlooks issued by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), the WSOs will exploit a robust winter weather ensemble specifically tuned to Weather Forecast Office (WFO) winter storm warning criteria. The outlooks will indicate the chance and location where winter storm warning criteria (for snow and ice) are exceeded during 12-hour and 24-hour time periods over the next 72-hours. Probabilistic winter precipitation forecasts (PWPF), already utilized by WFOs across the NWS, form the foundation of WPC’s WSOs while WFOs retain Winter Storm Watch issuance responsibility. WPC will issue three individual 24-hour outlooks on the night shift (one each for Day 1, 2, and 3, with 12 to 12 UTC valid times). These three outlooks will be subsequently updated on the day shift for the same valid times and a 12-hour valid period forecast will be issued for the beginning of Day 4 (a Day 3.5 WSO). Utilizing Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System(AWIPS)/Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE), the WPC forecaster will edit and send these outlook forecasts. The product will allow WPC to share grids via GFE/InterSite Coordination (ISC) and serve as a first step toward improving NWS Winter Storm Watch consistency and accuracy across the lower 48 U.S. states. If these activities show continued promise and are accepted and aligned with a fully integrated NWS field structure, then WPC WSOs can serve as the foundation for greater Winter Storm Watch collaboration and consistency. “Go” or “No Go” watch decisions will be based on the application of probabilistic thresholds, tied to local warning criteria, and eventually to impacts (wind, timing, severity, etc.). This paradigm is wholly consistent with NOAA’s Forecasting a Continuum of Environmental Threats (FACETs).
Product information and survey access
Point of Contact
Greg Carbin firstname.lastname@example.org
Document (e.g. PDD)
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Last edit date to this meta-data: 2019-07-31