Communicating High Impact Weather across the U.S./Mexico Border using Social Media
Marissa Pazos, National Weather Service - El Paso, El Paso, TX
Jason Laney, National Weather Service - El Paso
Tim Brice, National Weather Service - El Paso
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Abstract
With over 2.5 million people, the El Paso - Juarez border community is one of the largest metropolitan border areas in North America. Every day, thousands of people and tons of goods cross back and forth between these two cities, but until recently the flow of weather information was stopped at the border. Over the last several years the NWS office in El Paso and Protección Civil (Civil Defense) in Juarez have worked to open up weather communications between the two cities.

 

Communication between El Paso and Juarez can be challenging at times since two different countries and two different languages are involved. Social media has helped bridge these challenges.  Storms often initially develop south of the border, and social media posts from both governmental organizations and the public in Juarez provide vital weather intelligence through their observations to the NWS in El Paso. This information greatly aids the office in producing more effective warning products for the U.S. side of the border. Other times the severe weather will start north of the border and cross to the south.  As a courtesy, the weather office in El Paso will call the Protección Civil office in Juarez and make social media posts (in both Spanish and English) to let the people in Juarez know about the impactful weather on the way.  This presentation will focus on two recent hail events that demonstrate the cooperation between NWS El Paso and Protección Civil in Juarez to help protect lives and properties on both sides of the U.S. - Mexico Border.