Observer updates SIGMETs

SOP Number & Name

2160 Observer Updates SIGMETS


Takes about 10 minutes. Add SIGMETS (from NWS Products) to the Home Page weather chart.

Who does this procedure?


How often?

Once every hour.

Frequency of reference to the SOP

Once you know it, the procedure becomes routine.

Action sequence:

        SIGMET is defined and identified

        Change is saved as a jpeg file

        Change is sent to the METOC home page and to thereby to the Wall of Thunder


What supports the action sequence?


What is the needed information?


Powerpoint with an old kludge. There are a series of 4 maps

- SE Texas - East Coast,

- FL, AL, MS

- VA through GA

- TX, OK, Arkansas

How to find the SIGMETS (they come from Kansas City). Have to plot them - sometimes look up stations in the station identifier book. Have to know more geography than many observers know.




What is good or useful about the support and the depiction of needed information?


        The SIGMETS themselves are really good - give customers good info at a glance.

        The PowerPoint maps are designed for METOC - they have all geographical info and 3 letter identifiers (e.g., PNS for Pensacola) that is needed.

        Other forecasting offices have blank maps of the US.


What about the support or information depiction makes the action sequence difficult?


        Is as important as doing the observations (the squadrons know when the Home Page is updated).

        The procedure is labor intensive.

        There is a limited capability to customize the shapes of the SIGMET areas.

        The map cannot move as you are in the act of drawing a SIGMET--you have to change functions and scroll the map with the mouse.

        The alpha-numerics are hard to see even if you zoom.

        The map shown on the CRT is not large, and the details are hard to read.

        It is a sectored map that cuts off at Texas.

        You sometimes have to hunt for station identifiers--end up searching via "Yahoo." Some stations have several IDs.

        The map cannot scroll outside a limited area.

        Nothing in the work environment reminds the Observer to conduct the task.

        The final display of SIGMETS does not support a zoom function. They aren't easy to see on Wall of Thunder.

        The work is often done on the hardcopy map lying on the table--where you can see all the regions and station identifiers in a glance, and read all the details. After figuring it out on the hardcopy map the Observer inputs it into the computer.


Concept Mapping Toolkit
Insitute for Human and Machine Cognition
The University of West Florida