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Oddest Watch Box I've Ever Seen

SPC switched to watch by county last year (I think), so the old parallelogram/box watch graphics were only to be used for guidance. Graphics in the watches pages earlier this year and last year still showed the parallelogram, but I thought it also showed the county outlines, and you'd notice that, occassionally, a few counties outside the parallelogram would still be in the watch. I'd be curious to see if SPC did away with these guidance-only parallelograms entirely, in favor of county-outline watches.
 
I'm pretty sure...and correct me if I'm wrong...that when they send out the proposed watch for coordination it will still be parallelogram and then offices can tell them which counties they don't want in the watch. So you'll probably start seeing the county outlines for the watches on their homepage but behind the scenes they'll use parallelograms as a starting point.
 
yeah, i always love it when they issue watches for the western US.
Correct me if Im wrong but I believe they issued a TORN WW for southern Cal last spring and it actually verified.
 
I'm pretty sure...and correct me if I'm wrong...that when they send out the proposed watch for coordination it will still be parallelogram and then offices can tell them which counties they don't want in the watch. So you'll probably start seeing the county outlines for the watches on their homepage but behind the scenes they'll use parallelograms as a starting point.
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Alex,

We switched to "watch by county" in November of 2005. Since then, the official watch has become the list of counties. The parallelograms are just a convenient first guess at the watch area, but we're dealing with the counties from the beginning.

SPC typically initiates a conference call with a proposed watch area and type that is specific down to the county. The official watch county listing (the initial WOU) is the result of any modifications to the proposed watch during the conference call. If there is a major disagreement that can't be resolved (usually regarding watch issuance as a whole), the SPC forecaster has the final call.

After a watch has been issued, the local NWS offices assume control of the product through watch clearance notications (WCNs). The entire process can be simplified to 1) SPC issues the watch, and 2) the NWS offices clear the counties as they see the threat ending. SPC status reports are "guidance" for the NWS offices, but each office has the final call on watch county clearances.

The SPC web page is being upgraded to show the initial counties in the watch, and then clear counties from the watch as local offices issue WCNs. In other words, the watch will resemble some sort of amoebic blob of counties that pops up and then gradually shrinks with time.

Rich T.
 
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