Call for SPC Convective Outlook Outline Format

I ran across a thread where people were talking about not being able to elaborate their forecasts well and that they wished to improve. This reminded me of the fact that SPC forecasters almost always have an organized, concise way of breaking down the weather and describing it well. I was hoping that if we have any SPC forecasters (or similar) that know the outline format for creating Convective Outlooks, if you could point us to a source (such as online) that discusses creating them, or you could provide us with a breakdown of structure, required content, rules, etc for creating our own, it would be much appreciated.

I think when we submit our forecasts to Map Room it could only help posts to have a more accurate organized format. Having the format probably forces us to make sure we have looked at everything, etc too.

Example: I know that it starts out with areas covered and broad synoptic setup where is describes in broad strokes what the background 'canvas' for severe weather is and what it is generally expected to do. Next this is broken into smaller regional areas. What are the required items to be discussed though, etc?

I think this would be a benefit to us all.
 
I don't work for SPC - so maybe I'm completely wrong, but I would have doubts that they follow some sort of template in terms of designing a forecast discussion. In general - they seem to follow the general format you described, first noting the overall synoptic pattern and in general the expected regions of maximum severe threat - then for each region impacted by a different weather system, setup, or markedly differing region of risk probability or confidence, a short desription is given noting expected evolution of mesoscale features expected to play a role in the regional severe weather threat. Then, MCD and watch discussions focus even further on the mesoscale aspects at play and expected severe weather threat given the current and short-term (0-6 hrs) anticipated environment.

Glen
 
I guess this means we don't have any SPC folks on the list? On wx-chase I know Rich Thompson, Dan McCarthy and a few others are there.

Actually I don't care if SPC comments on this if other NOAA employees are aware of the documentation and guidelines for creating these and can provide or point us to them.

I thought this would be an example of a higher quality post that people could get into discussing - contributing to the quality of their forecasts, but no one seems too interested.
 
I guess this means we don't have any SPC folks on the list? On wx-chase I know Rich Thompson, Dan McCarthy and a few others are there.

Bill,

There are a few SPC folks on here... However, I agree with Glen, and that's indeed the case, then it wouldn't make a lot of sense for others to pop in on here say "Yup, Glen got it right".

I don't think that there is a cookie-cutter outline for SWODY#s. As Glen noted, most discussions start with a synoptic overview, then gradually narrow down in terms of spatial coverage and main threats. These mesoscale descriptions are generally expanded upon for each region of interest. Other than that, I doubt there is a strict protocol for the discussions. Each discussion writer seems to have slightly different methods of discussing the situation. For example, most of discussions which discuss various possibilities or factors by the use of "1. .... 2...." are by Edwards, I've noticed.

Generally, start on the synoptic scale, then hone down in space and time. Talk about model trends or biases if it's important, etc.
 
They practice the "forecast funnel" philosophy as everyone should when creating any sort of forecast, google'ing that will do wonders...
 
I'll chime in for the record, although Glen, Jeff, and Rob have covered it well. Sure, there's a general format and guidelines to the outlooks (overview/synopsis through morning outlooks, most important areas first etc.), but nevertheless it's still a relatively free form discussion for the outlook forecaster to best convey the SPC's latest thoughts and reasoning.

If anyone is really curious, you can go to the NWS Directives and read the "National Severe Weather Products Specification" (10-512) chapter...
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/directives/010/010.htm

Hope this helps!
Jared
 
You guys may be correct about forecast funnel and liberty given to forecasters to specify the outlook; however I'd be surprised if there isn't a requirements list or guideline publication within SPC as recommendations to follow.
 
Originally posted by Bill Tabor
You guys may be correct about forecast funnel and liberty given to forecasters to specify the outlook; however I'd be surprised if there isn't a requirements list or guideline publication within SPC as recommendations to follow.

Bill,

Perhaps suggestions, but Jared Guyer IS an SPC forecaster, and he said himself (in the post before yours) that it's a "relatively free form discussion". LOL There's no better indication than straight from an SPC forecaster. Some products are cookie-cutter products (severe wx warnings use a template), but SPC discussions aren't (well, they have the required headers at the top, followed by the soon-to-be-dropped forecast points, followed by the discussion, and ending with the forecaster name).
 
Originally posted by Bill Tabor
You guys may be correct about forecast funnel and liberty given to forecasters to specify the outlook; however I'd be surprised if there isn't a requirements list or guideline publication within SPC as recommendations to follow.

As Jeff mentioned - Jared as an SPC forecaster is more than qualified to authoritatively state the policy - but he also provided a link for the skeptic - which perhaps you missed. Here it is again:

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/directives/010/010.htm

Mosey on down to the NDS 10-5 Public Weather Services section, then click on 10-512 National Severe Weather Products Specification.

Glen
 
Ok, sorry guys. Didn't realize Jared was an SPC forecaster. Now that you mention it though 'Guyer' does sound familiar.

I had followed that link earlier into the public weather services section and didn't see what I was looking for, but maybe I missed the national severe link. I just now tried to check it, but I'm upstairs on my desktop computer and apparently I have an older version of Acrobat on it that won't read these .pdf files. I'll take a look at it later using my notebook. [Granted I need to update my Acrobat version, but currently burning a Dvd of some of my chase video files.].

Thanks to all of you for your input though. It is appreciated.
 
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