Threats in Motion

rdale

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Mar 1, 2004
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The future of tornado (and other) warnings is "in motion." The traditional polygon gets a minute-by-minute refresh when a storm is expected to continue for 30 minutes or more, which will change the wary the warning progresses. NWS just released a quick video at
and there's more info at Warning

(This is step one of "Warn on Forecast" and probabilistic warnings.)
 
May 18, 2013
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Overall seems like a great idea, but it seems like it will be a challenge to implement. For example, weather radios alert off FIPS codes not locations within a FIPS code area. EMs would have to rethink how they activate outdoor warning sirens and reverse 911 systems. Can you image NOAA weather radio with multiple warnings updating the cities in a warning every minute? Of course we shouldn't throw out a great idea because it will be hard to implement.
 

rdale

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Mar 1, 2004
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All valid points Randy. They were actually brought up at the workshop right before my talk.

The core point of my talk was - “We get to make massive changes in the warning system once every few generations. We should not limit the paradigm shift in any way because of external or technological issues that exist in 2019.”

Polygons were a great idea. Then they rolled out, and we saw issues where polygons were “too“ intricate for EMs who got alerts only from NOAA Weather Radio, or for siren systems that were activated countywide. So we adjusted polygons - taking much of the value away for resources that use the polygon and not the county border (for example - your phone.) If County A was in a TOR, and I live a mile into County B, I wouldn’t get the advantage of that warning even though the polygon concept allowed it.

So the moral of the story is - yep, these are issues. If NOAA Weather Radio can’t adapt to this, then we scrap it. NWR is the main source of alerts for roughly 3% of the population based on recent surveys. If EMs can‘t figure out the polygon, then they can find a cheap private-sector service that converts polygons back to county-based warnings and they stick to old school.

But if my 2021 Ford can read the Threat-in-motion warning, it can use the mapping to vector my wife around the storm threat and still get her to her hair appointment safely, updating the track by the minute if need be. If we worry about the LATLON lines at the bottom of the text product being too long, we waste this one chance.
 

James K

EF3
Mar 26, 2019
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Sounds like a good idea if it works correctly.


Randy Jennings said:
weather radios alert off FIPS codes not locations within a FIPS code area. EMs would have to rethink how they activate outdoor warning sirens and reverse 911 systems.
It seem like for those systems, they could use the moving polygon (for its shape), but only "grab a snapshot" of it at a given interval ... then use that data/location to spit out FIPS codes, and which EMs to notify for activating outdoor warnings. Should be able to be a fully automated process? (and I wouldn't think it'd take too much computing power?) But no doubt there'd be some work involved with getting it setup....
 

Joey Prom

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Feb 11, 2020
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I think its a great idea. The more we can leverage the rapidly evolving world of technology and instantaneous access to information, the better. Also, getting private industry involved would be huge. Just like how private industry is revolutionizing the space industry.
 
May 18, 2013
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In the weather world, private industry is both a blessing and a curse. There are companies that are very supportive of the NWS, provide added value, and work with the NWS to make us a weather ready nation, and there are companies that will do everything they can to turn NWS into nothing more than a data provider to them so they can repackage the data and sell it. Getting past some in private industry is likely to be the biggest challenge Threats in Motion faces. But that is a different thread in The Bear's Cage forum.
 

rdale

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Mar 1, 2004
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Actually we're bringing in the private sector - Baron Services, WSI (IBM), AccuWeather, etc. have all been part of the meetings. I wouldn't classify them as "turning the NWS into a data provider" but clearly the NWS does step their toes too far over the line sometimes and that can be a Bear Cage discussion (for example, providing weather forecasts for NASCAR events with taxpayer funded meteorologists while the police, ambulances, trash cleanup, etc. are all paid for by NASCAR.)