Utilization of Radar Feature Catalogs as a Training Supplement (46)

Jason Schaumann, NOAA/NWS, Springfield, MO

Doug Cramer, NOAA/NWS

Aaron Johnson, NOAA/NWS

John Stoppkotte, NOAA/NWS

Mike Griffin, NOAA/NWS



For the last five years, radar features associated with an increased potential for QLCS mesovortex tornadoes have been catalogued en masse and frequently presented to forecasters at the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Springfield, MO. This catalog approach was developed to mimic that of repetitive cerebral training such as memorizing flashcards. Building &ldquomuscle memory&rdquo through viewing numerous examples of these features has been a valuable training asset to Springfield forecasters with significant improvement noted in QLCS warning decision-making and verification statistics. Forecasters indicate they have much greater confidence as radar operators during QLCS events, with several noting that they now recognize critical radar features &ldquosubconsciously&rdquo.

The NWS Central Region Tornado Warning Improvement Project (TWIP) Team has adopted this approach and is cataloging radar features for numerous signatures which indicate an increased likelihood for both supercell and QLCS tornadoes, as well as signatures which detract from tornado potential such as false velocity couplets. These radar feature catalogs are being used as a supplement to peer reviewed literature, learning modules, and hands-on weather event simulations. Catalog entry formats developed by the TWIP vary depending upon the complexity of each feature and include narrated MP4s, animated PowerPoint presentations, and self-driven PowerPoint presentations. All entries contain Storm Data plots and Level 2 radar data for individuals wishing to further examine each case. The radar feature catalogs are available to NOAA staff via TWIP VLab and Google Sites.