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GTAS Project Overview

The Geo-Targeted Alerting System (GTAS) project is a prototype implementation of the latest developments in plume modeling, high resolution weather models, and network enabled operations. These technologies will build upon the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) operational meteorological data delivery system to enable emergency managers from their desktops to:
  • Run and view dispersion of toxic plume information.
  • View hazardous weather information.
  • Coordinate and collaborate with NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) meteorologists.
  • Assess societal impacts due to toxic chemical releases and severe weather conditions.
  • Disseminate societal impact information.
  • Coordinate and collaborate with other state and local Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs).
GTAS will meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) requirements to provide air dispersion and toxic plume information along with NOAA meteorological and environmental data to state and local emergency management agencies. GTAS will build upon established relationships between local NWS WFOs and local EOCs by providing shared situational awareness of vital data, so that emergency managers can quickly determine the impact and provide mitigation and response plans to the public and other local and state EOCs.

NOAA's Air Resources Laboratory is enhancing the Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HySPLIT) dispersion model with the Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations (CAMEO) chemicals database to enable HySPLIT to accurately model over 500 different types of hazardous substances. The Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) Nonhydrostatic Mesoscale Model (NMM) data will be provided by NOAA's Global Systems Division (GSD) so that HySPLIT can more accurately model the trajectory and dispersion of the release. The WRF-NMM model output will be ingested on GTAS NWS regional servers where the HySPLIT model will be hosted. The GTAS servers will also be populated with real-time weather data made available by NWS. Emergency managers and local forecasters will be able to collaborate on toxic spills and weather hazards using GTAS' FSL X-Window Collaborate (FXC) workstation. FXC will provide the net enabled operational interface to HySPLIT, WRF-NMM, and other meteorological data sets. These tools will provide emergency managers and forecasters the ability to quickly assess and provide more accurate response and mitigation plans to the public.

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