Intensity of language in weather communication

By: Robert Prestley

During hurricanes, broadcast meteorologists take on a leading role as risk communicators. They not only provide information about the event; they also act to interpret the information in to frameworks viewers can understand, urge action among viewers, and act as an emotional support for communities in dire straits. In order to perform these varied tasks, broadcast meteorologists rely on a number of linguistic tools. They might use figurative language to explain complex meteorological phenomena, or express their own emotions (like concern, disbelief, and hope) to relate with their viewers.

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Stay on the High Road: The Judgement on #WxTwitter

By: Becky DePodwin

I was looking for images to include in this post and happened to come upon this tweet exchange with the late Matt Parker. His wisdom continues to influence myself and hopefully many others.

If there’s one thing meteorologists like more than the weather…. It’s commenting on how people react and respond to the weather. I’m guilty of it. You’re guilty of it. We’ve all taken some pleasure in joining in a group condemnation of some poor soul who drove their car around barriers and into flood waters, ultimately ending up sitting on top of their vehicle, shamefully waiting to be rescued.  And that’s one of the better case scenarios.

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Heat speak: challenges of the “silent killer”

Meteorological Twitter has been pretty quiet of late. In fact, the only real “hot-topic” cooking up is about heat—no surprise in the summer months. This subject is revisited every summer and it often has to do with criteria. What constitutes a heat advisory? How about an excessive heat warning? As the weather wise know, answers to those questions vary based on location. But there are some broader points to the heat narrative that inspire further discussion. Scientists always seem to want hard and fast rules—or certain thresholds. Does a certain ambient temperature need to be reached? Should it simply focus on heat index? How does time factor into the equation?

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Defining Disaster: basic framework for “socio-meteorological” research

By: Josh Eachus

As early as 1961, Charles Fritz expressed a need for people and pertinent practitioners to understand the anatomy of a disaster in order to fully grasp the human psychological and societal impacts they present. Many associate disaster with earth processes such as weather and climate. However, it is possible for earthquakes and hurricanes to occur without affecting people. If a tree falls…

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