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Warning Decision Training Branch
Professional Development Series

Severe Convection Forecasting and Warnings

PCU 8: Post-Event Assessment

Producer: Jim Ladue, WDTB

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Click here first for an Introduction

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Specific Job Task Skills and Knowledge:

Task 8.1: Evaluate the impact and performance of the available technology, which includes:

  • The availability and reliability of remote sensing tools and automated guidance
  • The applicability of information from radar, model analysis and forecasts, satellite, etc.
  • The availability and usefulness of other office technologies, such as hardware and software associated with workstation usage, dissemination, and communications

Task 8.2: Evaluate the application of scientific findings, such as conceptual models, during the event.

Task 8.3: Evaulate the impact of human related factors, which include:

  • Staffing (experience and amount)
  • Internal and external communication, collaboration, and coordination

Task 8.4: Gather, document, and validate ground truth reports. This would include:

  • Conducting damage surveys as deemed appropriate
  • Performing post-storm analysis to validate report times and locations

Task 8.5: Evaluate the impacts of products issued.

Instructional Components:

IC 8.1: Review the following documents and courses related to the following topics:

Post-Mortems

Post-mortems are critical to evaluating the performance of the National Weather Service, whether at a national level or for a forecast office during a particular event. A post-mortem should be conducted after every severe weather event, or any significant event, whether the event was a complete success or if there were some problems. Post-mortems can not only tell us about the past but can help point us in the direction of needed research, technology, policy, or procedures.

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The Severe Weather/Flash Flood Warning Decision Making (WDM) Workshops were held from 2000 to 2003 and covered a variety of topics, including post-mortems. Use this Post-Mortem Template created in the 2003 edition of the workshop to assist in your post-mortem process.

Use the following NWS Directives to assist in the post-mortem process:

WDTB offers an Instructor-Led Training course on effective office strategies associated with post-mortems (AWOC Core 3 - Lesson 3: Learning from Post-Mortems). The presentation associated with the teletraining is available upon request to those who have completed this particular lesson.

AWOC Core IC 4 - Lesson 4: Social Science Aspects of Post Mortems

Communicating Risks in High-Impact Events: Post-Mortems

Damage Surveys

Conducting damage surveys allows the office to accurately determine the intensity of and the impacts of severe weather hazards, especially those of strong straight-line winds and tornadoes. Use the following modules and courses to assist in your damage surveys.

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EF-Scale Training:

SPC Enhanced Fujita Scale Tornado Damage Page - Shows the derivation of the EF-Scale from the original Fujita Scale and provides details on all 28 damage indicators.

Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) can allow you determine the factor(s) that results in an outcome (e.g., a missed event). While the term "root cause" implies there's one thing at the bottom of it all, it really is not the case. One can uncover a number of "roots" with numerous "offshoots" which have all contributed to the outcome. Basically, it will allow you to identify a number of contributing factors to an outcome and allow you to learn from them.

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A portion of the WDTB-based Instructor-Led Training course on effective office strategies associated with post-mortems (AWOC Core 3 - Lesson 3: Learning from Post-Mortems) includes information on RCAs. The presentation associated with the teletraining is available upon request to those who have completed this particular lesson.

This lesson is associated with an RCA Tool-Kit, which can be downloaded for use here.

IC 8.2: Work with the local SOO or WCM on using the Weather Event Simulator (WES) to refine damage surveys.

IC 8.3: Review and understand the following tool kits. Employ the use of these tool kits when doing post-mortems or damage surveys:

References and Examples:

Other References

The Human Factors Analysis and Classification System - HFACS by Scott A. Shappell and Douglas A. Wiegmann

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If you have any questions or comments concerning this page, please email Jim Ladue.

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Page last modified: April 18, 2014 9:28

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