2.5 The Evolving Role of the NWS Science and Operations Officer: Preparing Offices on New Methods of Hazardous Weather Communication

Tuesday, 14 January 2020: 11:15 AM
153C (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Stephen Bieda III, NWSFO, Amarillo, TX; and D. Hawblitzel, T. T. Lindley, and T. M. Ryan

The National Weather Service (NWS) is embarking on an initiative known as NWSEvolve to help federal, state, and local partners as well as the public better prepare for extreme events through new methods in communication and decision support. The Science and Operations Officer (SOO) at each NWS Weather Forecast Office is responsible for the scientific integrity and operational activities of their respective forecast office. As demand increases for weather interpretation and communication from the weather enterprise, SOOs are now increasingly responsible for ensuring operational staff are prepared to effectively convey the forecast. In addition, SOOs must now further understand the latest science on societal response to a message in order to train their forecasting staff in this new service-based paradigm. Though SOOs have been, by the nature of the position, inward-looking on improving all aspects related to operational meteorology, the position must now also include attention to understanding communication. In the past few years, SOOs are now increasingly integrating into their efforts the latest state of the social sciences, training on creating informative social media posts, and development of diverse partnerships in preparing the NWS, as well as the community, to be Weather Ready. The purpose of this work is to demonstrate these changing efforts that represent a shift from the previously meteorological science heavy role to one that incorporates effective communication to the overall operational paradigm.
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