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July 27-29: GSL will host Hazard Services 2021 Functional Assessment Test

July 16, 2021


GSL researchers will host their fourth virtual Functional Assessment Test (FAT), evaluating next-generation Hazard Services capabilities. Hazard Services will modernize how the National Weather Service’s WFOs and National Centers create forecasts, watches, and warnings and consolidate these efforts into a single highly-customizable software system. This system contains an extensive framework that serves as a bridge to rapidly incorporate new science, algorithms, and techniques into the forecast and warning decision-making process. Having a single software framework also allows for social science and hazard communication improvements to be implemented, bringing clear, direct language improvements into the watch/warning/advisory process to ensure more effective information is disseminated to the public.

This virtual FAT will focus on the short-fuse convective weather products, including the Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, Extreme Wind Warning, Dust Storm Warning and Dust Advisory, Snow Squall Warning, Special Marine Warning, and Airport Weather Warning. Over 20,000 of these products are issued by the NWS each year and provide critical life-saving information on forecasts of imminent hazardous weather threats. Over a dozen NWS participants and eleven GSL researchers will participate in the virtual FAT, hosted on four Amazon Web Services cloud instances running the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) and Hazard Services. This FAT will allow participants to see new severe weather products not viewed in Hazard Services before and provide feedback on the warning creation process and the product formats. This will ensure a mature software and training program is in place before these mission-critical products are issued operationally for consumption by the public and across the weather enterprise.