An Iterative Approach toward Development of Ensemble Visualization Techniques for High-Impact Winter Weather Hazards: Part I: Product Development Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract; We applied social science research principles to develop a suite of probabilistic winter weather forecasting visualizations for High-Resolution Ensemble Forecast (HREF) system output. This was achieved through an iterative, dialogic process with U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters to design nine new web-based, interactive products aimed toward improving visualizations of winter weather event magnitudes, characteristics, and timing. These products were influenced by feedback from a preliminary focus group, which emphasized the importance of product credibility, contextualization, and scalability. In a follow-up discussion, winter weather forecasting experts found the event timing products to have the greatest utility due to their association with impact-decision support services (IDSS). Furthermore, forecasters assessed snowfall rates as the most impactful variable rather than snowfall totals and radar reflectivity. The timing products include plots of probabilistic snowfall onset time and duration, rush hour intersection probabilities, and a combination meteogram. The onset and duration plots visualize the ensemble-average onset time and duration of a specified snowfall rate, as demonstrated in previous works, but with the addition of uncertainty information by visualizing the earliest, most likely, and latest potential onset times as well as the shortest, most likely, and longest potential durations. The rush hour product visualizes the probability of exceeding a specified snowfall rate during local commutes, and the combination meteogram allows rapid identification of high-impact periods by encoding probabilities of precipitation, precipitation-type probabilities, and average rates into one graphical tool. Examples of these interactive products are maintained on our companion website:

publication date

  • September 1, 2023

has restriction

  • bronze

Date in CU Experts

  • May 1, 2024 7:27 AM

Full Author List

  • Radford JT; Lackmann GM; Goodwin J; Correia J; Harnos K

author count

  • 5

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-0007

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-0477

Additional Document Info

start page

  • E1630

end page

  • E1648


  • 104


  • 9