Improving the Display of River and Flash Flood Predictions
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Improving the Display of River and Flash Flood Predictions
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Improving the Display of River and Flash Flood Predictions
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    The National Weather Service (NWS) is responsible for alerting the public about potential flood events. To fulfill this responsibility, NWS uses computer models that simulate river flow, rainfall, and other factors to generate predictions. When necessary, they generate warnings to recipients, who represent many communities of interest, including emergency services, water management organizations, commercial broadcast agencies, and the general public. Two challenges face the NWS in communicating flood predictions to such a broad audience: (1) information needs and knowledge levels vary greatly across audiences; and (2) the process of predicting hydrological phenomena is inherently filled with uncertainty, which may be difficult to communicate. The Aptima solution to these challenges features three components: (1) formulation of a theory of uncertainty as it pertains to flood events; (2) design of visualization techniques to maximize the comprehension and utility of flood information to a broad range of users; and (3) development of a prototype system with which to demonstrate our design concepts. The solution presented will increase both the usability and value of NWS flood prediction services, and will enable various communities of interest to carry out their respective missions more effectively in the future.
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