winterwx

Lost in Translation

By: Melissa Huffman

Social science has really risen to prominence recently in operational meteorology, given the frequency of devastating natural disasters the United States experiences and the increasing number of people being affected by them. This is pretty cool when you think about it… two seemingly unrelated fields working together to help keep people safe.

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oufootball

Lightning: The Underrated Killer

By: Mike Johnson

Early season college football can be summed in a few simple observations.  1) Tailgating parties will litter stadium parking lots, 2) pre-season rankings are worthless, and 3) there will be lightning delays.  While I love a good discussion on tailgating and football polls, this really isn’t the forum.  However, based on recent human behavior, a discussion on lightning is certainly worth the time and effort.

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What recent research tells us about evacuation decisions during Hurricane Matthew

By: Josh Eachus

A common question in meteorology circles after Hurricane Matthew: why didn’t they evacuate? We can’t just say storm surge will be 7-11 feet. We can’t just say know your evacuation zone. Even combining the two, while a step in the right direction, isn’t enough. Riad et. al (1999) said that evacuation can be understood as the result of three basic social psychological processes: (a) risk perception, (b) social influence, and (c) access to resources. But at some point, it all becomes too much! Say, what? It sounds like paralysis by analysis. But, in striving for the zero fatality outcomes, we continue to weave fundamental concepts of risk perception and information processing into weather messaging.

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Local Perspective: Hurricane Matthew

 

By: Minh Phan

“I’m so ridiculously prepared everyone would wanna be at my house. If it gets to cat 3 I’m out. Cat 2 is a breeze.”

Others felt the coverage on Matthew was dramatic and overhyped.

“I don’t think it’s gonna be that bad. Georgia has a reputation of panicking in weather situations.”

Those who expressed their intent to evacuate did so out of extra precaution, playing it safe and leaving in case the storm delivered a heavy blow to the region.

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atl09_info_cone-1hermine

A post-tropical cyclone with tropical storm warnings expected to have hurricane-like impacts

Explain that in 140 characters or less.

What began on August 17th as a strong tropical disturbance near Africa ended Florida’s decade-long hurricane drought two weeks later, but the story didn’t end there. The 20-day telenovela brought as many twists and turns as the last three episodes of Bachelor in Paradise (complete with tropical locales). It was an exercise in emotional fragility for weather forecasters. As one of my colleagues best put it, the storm that wouldn’t form was also the one that wouldn’t go away. Continue Reading

HeatSpeak

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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