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Hazard Services Functional Forecaster Assessment Test

June 08, 2020


GSL researchers will virtually host more than a dozen participants for a Functional Assessment Test of new Hazard Services capabilities. Hazard Services will modernize how the National Weather Service (NWS) and National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) create forecasts, watches, and warnings. The system provides a pathway to operations and enables promising science and technology to be more rapidly incorporated into the warning decision-making process. It is also the vehicle for bringing clear, direct language improvements into the watch/warning/advisory process to ensure more effective information is disseminated to the public.

A “Functional Forecaster Assessment Test” (FFAT), exposes forecasters to a new hazard workflow in an isolated system so they can focus on evaluating how Hazard Services creates watches/warnings/advisories and how the public would see these hazardous weather products. This FFAT will evaluate long-duration marine, non-precipitation, and convective hazard alert workflows. Long-duration marine hazards include gales, hurricane-force winds, dense fog, smoke, freezing spray, and other hazards that mariners encounter when navigating open water. Non-precipitation hazards cover extreme cold, excessive heat, dense fog and smoke, high winds, and volcanic ash which can last for hours or even days and can affect vulnerable populations that do not have access to a safe, sturdy, and climate-controlled shelter. Convective hazards include severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

GSL is expecting 19 participants from NWS Forecast Offices, NOAA national centers and training divisions. Hazard Services is being implemented into NWS operations in phases.