Broadcast Meteorologist Decision Making in the 2016-2017 Hazardous Weather Testbed Probabilistic Hazard Information Project
Kodi Berry, CIMMS/University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Holly Obermeier, CIMMS/University of Oklahoma
Kim Klockow, CIMMS/University of Oklahoma
Susan Jasko, California University of Pennsylvania
Daphne LaDue, CAPS/University of Oklahoma

As primary communicators of severe weather information to the general publics, broadcast meteorologists were included in the 2016 and 2017 Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) Probabilistic Hazard Information (PHI) project. Broadcasters served as part of an integrated warning team that also included NWS forecasters and emergency managers operating under a Forecasting a Continuum of Environmental Threats (FACETs) environment. A main objective of the HWT PHI project was to learn how the continuous flow of probabilistic hazard information may impact broadcast meteorologists and their decision making. Broadcast participants performed typical job functions under a simulated television studio environment as they received experimental probabilistic hazard information during three realtime and three displaced realtime events. Research protocols were used to systematically study how broadcast meteorologists interpreted, used, and communicated PHI. Decision points of interest included when to run “crawls”, post to social media, interrupt commercials, and interrupt programming. In addition, multiple update frequencies were tested to explore potential trade-offs between more continuous updates and increased cognitive load, especially over the course of a long-duration event. Researchers guided the integrated warning team through individual debriefs after each event, as well as a group debrief at the end of each day. Results from the project will be shared, as well as plans for future experimentation.