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Improving Communication of Weather Forecasts and Warnings to Aid Decisions

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April 11, 2013
Rebecca E. Morss
Hosted by Russ Schumacher

Abstract

Future weather is inherently uncertain, and weather forecasts are received and used every day by millions of people. This makes weather forecasting a common form of environmental risk communication that is familiar to much of the public. Weather forecasts and warnings are also used by public officials, members of the public, and others to help reduce negative impacts of hazardous weather events such as hurricanes and flash floods. This presentation will discuss results from recent research studies to improve communication and use of weather forecasts and warnings, with a particular emphasis on communication of risk and forecast uncertainty. It will focus on building empirical understanding of how people conceptualize weather-related risk, how they interpret forecasts and warnings, and how forecast and warning information interacts with their weather-related decisions. Potential implications of the findings for communication of weather and climate information will also be discussed, as well as priority areas for future research.