I’m sick of seeing snow totals maps. Perhaps more than anything else in the industry, they perpetuate a perception that forecasters don’t know what they’re doing. Yet we continue to indulge.
At thewxsocial.com, we’re frequently examining the struggle of communicating flood dangers. From Houston to Baton Rouge, we have pointed to countless challenges during heavy rain events that strand drivers and claim lives. Melissa Huffman submits several factors that may constrain action to areal and flash flood warnings like lack of familiarity with the flooded area, to being in a warning message restrictive setting like a vehicle. Perhaps it is all just disconnect from messenger to receiver. I have even suggested an alternate framing of the warning message to circumvent the “I can make it” mentality. But now, another city on the Gulf Coast is instituting a simple road sign that could become flood safety’s biggest ally since “turn around don’t drown.”
By: Joe Lauria
As I’ve talked about in previous blogs, my feeling is that the public…my customers…don’t pay attention to the vast majority of severe thunderstorm warnings (SVRs). This is NOT a criticism of the issuing of the warnings from the National Weather Service (NWS)–they have a mandate to follow–rather, this is more of an issue with the criteria and the end results of what typically happens after storms move through.
By: Mike Nelson
Here are some of my thoughts about Global Warming. While this topic has stirred up controversy and some strong reactions, it truly is pretty simple science – when you add HEAT to something, it gets WARMER!
By: Josh Eachus
Thomas Friedman’s 10th “flattener” from his 2005 book, “The World is Flat” is simply “the steroids.” From the world-wide web to workflow software to the rapid spread of information, the steroids referred to all of the digital advances that would come in a rapidly developing technological landscape. 12 years later, the visionary book is no longer a modern take on how the digital world will evolve. We’ve made it there, for better and for worse. Social media has brought an injection of “steroids” to digital information and workflow, but not without side-effects.
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.
“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.