NWC REU 2007
May 29 - August 2



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National Weather Service Warning Performance Associated with Watches

Jessica Ram, Paul Schlatter, Bob Johns, and Elizabeth Quoetone



The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) is responsible for alerting the public to the threat of severe weather by issuing severe weather watches and warnings. The NWS Storm Prediction Center can issue severe thunderstorm watches, tornado watches, or particularly dangerous situation tornado watches while Weather Forecast Offices (WFO) issue severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado warnings. It is vital for these warnings to be accurate and illicit an effective response from those likely to be affected. Although many factors affect the warning decision process, it isolating and examining each factor is an important step towards improving the process. Data were collected using online archives for information on all of the watches, warnings, and events that occurred between January 1, 2006 and April 19, 2006. Several WFOs were given surveys to help determine some of the human factors that might lead to an association between watches and warning issuance. When combining all of the information, watches and watch type appear to be correlated with warning performance in a positive way. The forecasters who issue warnings have also indicated through the surveys that watches influence how forecasters make decisions, especially while issuing warnings.

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