The WoFS (NSSL Warn-on-Forecast System) is up and Running Today

Jeff House

Supporter
Jun 1, 2008
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Chattanooga, TN
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Oh wow that's amazing! Site (Warren's first post) seems to work much faster than SPC parameters too. Though it's quiet today as I write. Sweet and simple site!

I infer from the article Warren posted (immediately above) Warn on Forecast System is a tool inside NWS Offices but not something disseminated in public warnings. However the website is public. Just hope Wx Twitter does not attempt to issue their own warnings off the public WoF site, lol!

Being from the Kansas City area, I'm going to have to get used to WoF meaning something other than Worlds of Fun, ha. If this WoFS site keeps its speed on chase days, it'll be a valuable tool.
 
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Reactions: Jason Boggs
Feb 19, 2021
102
131
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Wichita
I have not used this forecast guidance site but "Warn on Forecast" is a solution in search of a problem. The idea is to give probabilistic tornado and other storm warnings which, if implemented, will be a huge step backward for the storm warning system.

This is a situation where what sounds good to career scientists doesn't work in the real world. Because tornado warnings are so rare it will be impossible to educate the public that a 14% chance of a tornado is actually very high. Yes, I know some social scientists have endorsed it but those have not been experiments during real-time tornado conditions.

The existing tornado warning system is having real problems. Fixing it is where the effort should be going.
 
Feb 20, 2019
32
25
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31
Decatur, GA
I have not used this forecast guidance site but "Warn on Forecast" is a solution in search of a problem. The idea is to give probabilistic tornado and other storm warnings which, if implemented, will be a huge step backward for the storm warning system.

This is a situation where what sounds good to career scientists doesn't work in the real world. Because tornado warnings are so rare it will be impossible to educate the public that a 14% chance of a tornado is actually very high. Yes, I know some social scientists have endorsed it but those have not been experiments during real-time tornado conditions.

The existing tornado warning system is having real problems. Fixing it is where the effort should be going.
I'm still trying to wrap my head around it, but it seems like it could be an intermediate step between a tornado watch and tornado warning. Sure, some of the public-facing stuff may have to be tweaked, I agree with you about 14% not sounding like much to most people, when to us, that's quite high, but that's like SPC's "slight" risk. Maybe instead of numbers, It could be like a small watch. I tend to think of tornado watches as being region-sized, while warnings are county-sized. So have a "Tornado Advisory" that covers a few counties maybe?
 

rdale

EF5
Mar 1, 2004
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skywatch.org
Jason - Gotcha. I've been part of the FACETs workgroup and the future is very exciting in alerting. WoFS will be a big part of the new warning methodology and seeing the output in real-time.

Matthew - you are absolutely correct. You'll see this first in tornado warning update messages in the future which will "slide" with the storm instead of jumping. And right now it's either YES or NO for the warning - this will allow users to best utilize the data to fill in between the 0 and the 1.
 

Jeff Duda

EF6+, PhD
Staff member
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Oct 7, 2008
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Since nearly every reply so far suggests ignorance of the underlying science, I'll start by presenting the seminal paper on this program, from back in 2009:


This program is the result (so far) of more than 10 years of work by dozens of scientists and grad students, and WoFS has been tested by operational NWS forecasters and SPC forecasters in the HWT spring forecasting experiment for at least the last 3-5 years. It is continuing to be developed.
 
Feb 22, 2015
155
209
11
Norman, OK
I have not used this forecast guidance site but "Warn on Forecast" is a solution in search of a problem. The idea is to give probabilistic tornado and other storm warnings which, if implemented, will be a huge step backward for the storm warning system.

This is a situation where what sounds good to career scientists doesn't work in the real world. Because tornado warnings are so rare it will be impossible to educate the public that a 14% chance of a tornado is actually very high. Yes, I know some social scientists have endorsed it but those have not been experiments during real-time tornado conditions.

The existing tornado warning system is having real problems. Fixing it is where the effort should be going.
The idea of WoFS is not to replace the system of tornado/severe tstm/hazardous wx watches and warnings. The idea is to bridge the gap in the 3-6 hr period in between watch and warning where a hole currently exists.
 
Feb 19, 2021
102
131
6
Wichita
Jeff: I am not unaware of the underlying science. In fact, I have been following since Dr. John Snow told us in Norman in Dec. 2012, that WoF would be a reality in "five years." I participated in one of the test beds.

Andy: While I think you are right and that is the direction things are evolving, you can find considerable material that says it is to replace the current warning system. Simmons, et al (2021) implied a replacement.

Everyone: Above stipulated, I understand why some may be confused by my comment. I'm working on an article that will be published next month that, based on my nearly complete research, indicates some very troubling trends.


Since nearly every reply so far suggests ignorance of the underlying science, I'll start by presenting the seminal paper on this program, from back in 2009:

Andy:
The idea of WoFS is not to replace the system of tornado/severe tstm/hazardous wx watches and warnings. The idea is to bridge the gap in the 3-6 hr period in between watch and warning where a hole currently exists.
 
Jeff: I am not unaware of the underlying science. In fact, I have been following since Dr. John Snow told us in Norman in Dec. 2012, that WoF would be a reality in "five years." I participated in one of the test beds.
There have been several peer reviewed research articles over the last few decades that point to probabilistic weather information being more beneficial and useful than deterministic weather information (a.k.a., some of the underlying science). The article that I think you cited in your response to Andy also points in that direction: Howard et al. (2021)?

Everyone: Above stipulated, I understand why some may be confused by my comment. I'm working on an article that will be published next month that, based on my nearly complete research, indicates some very troubling trends.
I'm confused because in your first comment, you say:
I have not used this forecast guidance site but "Warn on Forecast" is a solution in search of a problem.
But then:
The existing tornado warning system is having real problems. Fixing it is where the effort should be going.
That's...what they're doing? And you haven't used it and are clearly unfamiliar with how forecasters are using it, but yet you know all about it and that it's the result of some career scientists' false reality?

There have been accurate comments in this thread on the work behind and the purpose of the WoFS, and it goes far beyond what the public sees or will ever see in a warning. The global weather enterprise is moving toward probabilistic information for a reason, and again, that's because decades of peer reviewed social science and atmospheric research back up its usefulness. I'd be very interested to see if your article, which I hope is peer reviewed, disproves what other scientists and researches have found time and time again.