Hurricane Sandy: Assessment team

Hurricane Sandy was a devastating storm and some of the warning decisions and communications have been criticized as been documented in many blogs and articles.{ } Following every major/devastating weather event such as Sandy, the National Weather Service and NOAA assemble a team to evaluate or access the accuracy of the forecast and how the end to end process of observation, forecast, communication, dissmeination and decisions were done.{ } Today NOAA released this statement about the makeup of the Sandy assesment team.

On behalf of the NOAA Deputy Under Secretary for Operations, below is a statement on the forthcoming NOAA service assessment on Sandy:

NOAA has commissioned a team to assess the performance of the National Weather Service during Hurricane/Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy.

It is a multi-disciplinary team that includes two social scientists and 10 experts from across NOAA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Members of the team who work for the National Weather Service were chosen from around the country and did not forecast Sandy. This allows for an impartial and unbiased review.

The team leader is a scientist with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service who has extensive management and team lead experience. He will oversee all field work, the development of findings and recommendations, and the drafting of the assessment report.

The team will focus on three main areas: the philosophies and policies behind the forecast and the weather watch and warning products and how they are communicated; how storm surge products are produced and issued from multiple NOAA Line Offices; and the web presence as a tool for communicating with the public.

The team will deliver a concise report that identifies facts, findings, and best practices, and it will make recommendations for process changes and service improvements that can be made within six months. The team will start work this month and will begin its field work on January 6. Interim findings are due to NOAA leadership in the spring, with the final report due shortly thereafter.

I look forward to the findings and any recommended ways the National Weather Service can do an even better job to protect life and property through timely and accurate forecasts.

Dr. David Titley
NOAA Deputy Under Secretary for Operations