S111 Bridging the Gap Between Student and Public Education of Climate Forecasting

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Leah Hill, Souther Climate Impacts Planning Program, Norman, OK; and J. Cuellar

The Southern Climate Impacts Planning (SCIPP) and the University of Oklahoma Weather lab (OWL) have a unique partnership. SCIPP is a climate hazards and research program that aims to increase preparedness for extreme weather phenomena across the southern climate region. OWL is student run forecasting organization focusing on teaching peers how to forecast the weather. In 2016, SCIPP and OWL formed a partnership where two students from OWL would record weekly climate briefings with the goal of exposing the public to long range and probabilistic forecasting. These weekly climate briefings are recorded on the Baron Lynx system and included graphics such as temperature and precipitation outlooks, drought monitors, and tropical outlooks. These podcasts are uploaded weekly to Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter.

Since the formation of this partnership, the main focus has been on the weekly climate briefings; however, this past year, interest in the climate shift grew, and a need was discovered to increase the public education of long range forecasts and climatology. Because more students were attending the weekly climate shifts, the shift’s focus expanded to include education of climate processes and predicting products.

Due to the increase in interest, OWL and SCIPP now are working towards broadening the educational aspect of the climate shifts, and are working to create more podcasts which focus on explaining complicated climate processes in layman's terms. One goal of the podcasts is already being reached, which is to increase student education, future goals for the podcasts will be to record more educational videos to explain deterministic and probabilistic forecasts, and to bridge the gap between student and public education.

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