Watch-by-County & VTEC Why, What, How, When and Operational Considerations

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Watch-by-County & VTEC Why, What, How, When and Operational Considerations. Deirdre Jones Jason Tuell Systems Engineering Center. Overview. Purpose: Update on strategy and status of VTEC and WBC. Why? Impetus behind WBC and VTEC What? WBC and VTEC by the numbers How?
Watch-by-County&VTECWhy, What, How, WhenandOperational ConsiderationsDeirdre JonesJason TuellSystems Engineering CenterOverviewPurpose: Update on strategy and status of VTEC and WBC
  • Why?
  • Impetus behind WBC and VTEC
  • What?
  • WBC and VTEC by the numbers
  • How?
  • Implementation in AWIPS and NAWIPS
  • When
  • Schedule of major milestones and field activities
  • Operational considerations
  • What WBC and VTEC mean to the field
  • Summary
  • Why VTEC?
  • Improve partner’s use and interpretation of critical NWS warnings, watches and advisories
  • Reduce errors and insure consistency and continuity in watch, warning and advisory products
  • Major private sector concern for almost ten yearsWhat?VTEC
  • Two line character string that captures critical elements of watch, warning advisory
  • Event Tracking Number that ties all products associated with a meteorological event together
  • Action codes that clearly articulate life cycle changes to an event
  • Start and expiration time of the event
  • Clear identification of operational, test and experimental products
  • /O.NEW.KRLX.BZ.A.0002.041222T1700Z-021223T0400Z/ How?VTEC
  • VTEC is implemented through four baseline software applications
  • Warngen - short fused convective warnings
  • Riverpro - hydrological warnings
  • Watch, Warning Advisory application (WWA) - long fused warnings
  • IFPS - marine warnings issued in public forecast products
  • When?VTEC
  • March 2004 – VTEC software delivered and tested in lab
  • April 2004 – Revised 10-1703 published April 2004
  • April 2004 – IOT&E in lab environment
  • May 2004 - OB3.2 – updated VTEC software
  • July 5 - August 31 – OT&E
  • 1 October - Go/No Go decision
  • 1 December - Turn key implementation
  • Why WBC?
  • Provide an organized and consistent method for the convective watch process
  • Replace State Liaison Office concept which spread watch responsibilities among National Center, State Liaison Office and WFOs for warned counties
  • SPC (in collaboration with affected WFOs) is responsible for the initial convective watch area
  • WFOs are responsible for subsequent modifications to the convective watch area until the time of cancellation
  • Facilitate use and understanding of NWS Watch Products by the media and emergency management community
  • Customers often do not use WFO convective watch products (e.g., Special Weather Statements)
  • Customers identify content inconsistencies between local and national convective watches
  • What?WBC
  • A modernized convective watch process and suite of products which fits the 21st century NWS business case
  • Best leverages skills of the local WFO forecaster and national SPC severe weather specialist
  • National partners and customers receive watch information from one Watch Outline Update message instead of multiple State Areal Outline statements
  • Local customers receive convective watch information from their WFO (one stop shopping) instead of a State Liaison Office
  • Workload reduction for the 50 State Liaison Offices
  • New product suite reduces potential for erroneous information
  • How?WBC
  • SPC issues proposed watch guidance in form of a test and graphical Watch County Listing (WCL)
  • SPC and WFOs participate in collaboration calls to agree on which counties and marine zones to be included in WOU
  • WFOs issue Watch County Notification Message (WCN) for affected counties
  • WFOs update watches for counties in their county warning area (CWA) using the WCN
  • SPC updates the WOU on an hourly basis with information from the WCNs
  • WCN3a1WCLWOU12bSPCWFO223WOUWCN3aCustomersabInitial issuance = numbersUpdates = lettersWBC Issue
  • Phase 1 OT&E highlighted significant challenges, principally, poor performance:
  • Customers experienced erroneous messages, impacting usability of products
  • WFOs experienced difficulty using software (WWA)
  • Strategy:
  • Use automated QC to eliminate errors
  • Improve WWA
  • Phase I: “Lighten the Load” – December 2004
  • Phase II: Redesign WWA – Est. 2006
  • Plan for Phase I
  • Implement improvements in AWIPS releases
  • Conduct OT&E Phase II in May 2004 on subset of sites
  • Products become operational January 2005
  • When?WBC
  • June 2004 – OB 3
  • December 2004 – OB4
  • June 2004 - Accelerate OB4 WWA into OB3.2
  • May 2004 – Phase II OT&E
  • July 2004 – Expand testing to all CONUS WFOs
  • July 2004 – Training
  • August 2004 – PNS
  • January 2005 – Turn key
  • Future Watch Warning Services
  • Near term plan to implement WBC and VTEC to meet both NWS and external partner objectives
  • VTEC and WBC development revealed shortcomings in watch, warning software, infrastructure and concepts of operations
  • Next Generation Warning Services initiative to address these shortcomings
  • Summary
  • Commitment to implement VTEC and Watch by County
  • WBC brings changes to the convective watch concept of operation
  • Automated QC will reduce errors and bring about greater standardization of products
  • Baseline tools address all mandatory requirements
  • Backup/O.NEW.KRLX.BZ.A.0002.041222T1700Z-021223T0400Z/
  • / and . Delimeters
  • K Fixed identifier of VTEC string type;
  • O=Operational
  • NEW Action Code; New=initial issuance
  • KRLX Office ID; Charleston, WV
  • BZ Phenomena; BZ=Blizzard
  • A Significance; A=Watch
  • 0002 Event Tracking Number (ETN)
  • 041222T1700Z Date/Time Group yymmdd, beginning UTC
  • T Fixed Time Indicator
  • 0212223T0400Z Date/Time Group yymmdd, ending UTC
  • Requirements of WFOs
  • National standard for watches, warnings, and advisories
  • Automated quality control (QC) ensures standardization
  • Deviations from instructions are not permitted by the automated QC
  • New guidance for use of correction (COR) and amendment (AMD)
  • No current standardized approach or definition applicable across all the products
  • Initial limited implementation in the software
  • Operational ConsiderationsWatch-by-County
  • Watch by County includes close integration of WFO and SPC processes, requires a handshake of two systems to pass specially coded messages between the systems
  • Use of AWIPS required to assure WCNs are issued for SPC initiated watches and ensure SPC products are updated with WFO issued WCNs
  • Partners will look for convective watches for counties from the WFO responsible for the warning area
  • Need accurate times, follow-up messages related to issued products, clear indication when watch no longer applies
  • Operational ConsiderationsVTEC
  • Continuity and uniqueness of Event Tracking Number (ETN) critical in service back up scenarios
  • Partners expect ETN to be unique and continuous across events, even in service back up situations
  • Coordination between WFOs will be instrumental in meeting partner’s expectations
  • Use of VTEC action codes in weather scenarios
  • 10-1703 neutral as to how these are to be applied
  • Multiple solutions allowed, but some solutions preferable to others
  • Weather scenarios and job sheets
  • Will provide foundation for training and testing
  • Will document recommended use of VTEC in operational situations
  • WWA Test Drive
  • Participants
  • Alaska Region Angel Corona (AJK)
  • Eastern Region Joe Palko (PBZ)
  • Josh Watson (ERH)
  • Central Region Greg Noonan (CRH)
  • Pacific Region Bill Ward (PRH)
  • Southern Region Chris Sohl (OUN)
  • Western Region Paul Flatt (BOI)
  • Craig Schmidt (WRH)
  • NCEP Gregg Grosshans (SPC)
  • Michelle Mainelli (TPC)
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