A major goal of the Forecast Decision Support Environment (FDSE) project is to develop techniques that reduce the time National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters spend on the production of gridded, digital forecasts to make more time available to perform Impact-based Decision Support Services (IDSS). For more than a year, the Global Systems Division (GSD) has been working on three major tasks toward accomplishing this goal, the Grid Monitor, Short-term Update tool, and new Ensemble Capabilities. The Grid Monitor presents a status of the current forecast as compared to gridded analyses of observations providing forecasters with the ability to quickly assess the forecast quality. Indications of a good forecast tell forecasters that little or no updates are required, while forecasts that compare poorly to observational analyses may require additional attention. The Short-term Update tool allows forecasters to define a set of models along with blending weights for each that can vary with time. For example, high temporal- and spatial-resolution models may make up the earliest part of the forecast, with longer-term models making up the latter part. Finally, the enhanced ensemble capabilities assists forecasters with tools that investigate ensemble information such as: spaghetti diagrams, temporal plumes, histogram sampling, and ensemble-relative frequency of user-defined events. In addition to providing status of our current progress, we will present future plans including an improvement to the blending process employed by most forecasters now. This new technique archives past model performance on a grid point by grid point basis and then uses that information to generate a model blended forecast, taking full advantage of the best-performing model at each grid point.
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