Forecaster Warning Decision Making with Rapidly-Updating Radar Data
Phased-array radar is being considered as a replacement for the operational WSR-88D system. One of the most notable differences in these weather radars is the temporal resolution. With phased-array radar collecting volumetric updates 4–6 times more frequently, the operational impacts of rapidly-updating data on forecasters’ decisions must be assessed. The Phased Array Radar Innovative Sensing Experiment (PARISE) was designed to examine forecasters’ warning performance and related warning decision processes during use of ~1-min radar updates in simulated real-time warning operation scenarios. Thirty National Weather Service forecasters were invited to the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed to participate in the 2015 PARISE. This experiment was comprised of nine weather events that varied in terms of weather threat. Forecasters’ eye movement data were observed as they worked a single weather event with either 1-min or 5-min phased-array radar updates. The eye-tracking experiment allowed for an objective analysis of how forecasters interacted with a radar display and warning interface for a single weather event, and more specifically, supported an investigation of whether radar update speed impacts how forecasters distribute their attention. Lastly, studies in six focus groups were conducted to enable forecasters to share their experiences on the use of rapidly-updating phased-array radar data during the experiment. The findings from the focus group studies provide motivation for the integration of rapidly-updating radar data into the forecast office and highlight some important considerations for successful use of these data during warning operations.
Dr. Wilson received her MMet degree from the University of Reading, UK, in 2012, after spending a year as an exchange student at OU. She returned to OU to earn her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Meteorology. As a graduate student, she has conducted research focused on National Weather Service forecasters’ use of rapidly-updating radar data during simulated warning operations, bringing together meteorology, cognitive psychology, and human factors.