NSSL’s new radar “slice and dice” tool helps in storm warnings

NSSL’s prototype Four-Dimensional Stormcell Investigator (FSI), a 3D/4D base radar data display tool, was alpha-tested in three NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) this summer – Melbourne, Fla., Omaha, Neb., and Huntsville, Ala. FSI is based on NSSL’s Warning Decision Support System – Integrated Information (WDSS-II), and allows users to create and manipulate dynamic cross-sections (both vertical and at constant altitude). Forecasters can “slice and dice” storms and view these data in three dimensions and across time.

Feedback was positive – with one forecaster commenting: “Overall, we found the FSI utility to be quite useful in the Warning Decision Making process. Specifically, the cross-section and 3D display capabilities did a very nice job showing the intensifying structure and increasing hail potential with the storm that tracked through Madison County.”

FSI will be implemented at all WFOs in AWIPS Build OB8.2 from Dec. 07 through Mar. 08.

Background: The FSI is one of the many activities being coordinated between NSSL and the NWS Meteorological Development Laboratory to assist NWS meteorologists in making hazardous weather warning decisions.

Significance: This is another successful example of OAR research transferred to NWS operations.


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