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AOSC Departmental Seminar
September 24, 2015

Severe weather warnings and society: A trip through the culture and policies of meteorology

Kim Klockow

From the early days of Fawbush and Miller to today, our national warning infrastructure has seen enormous amounts of change: new radars have been installed, our fundamental understanding of the atmosphere has improved, and methods for delivering warning information - especially through the private sector - have exploded.  Amidst all of this technological change, however, questions have arisen about the philosophical underpinnings of the warning system, and whether or not they have changed appreciably since 1948.  This presentation will walk through some of the predominant philosophies of the field of meteorology and warnings, including the ways we relate to those we serve, and how we frame warning success.  These philosophies have begun to surface in recent congressional hearings and legislation, and are becoming contested.  Recent movements within the field to integrate social and behavioral sciences may offer us insight into new paradigms, and this presentation will conclude with a vision for the future of severe weather warnings that considers these new ways of thinking.