10.4 Uncertainty and Probability Communication: Past, Present, and Future

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 3:45 PM
151B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Michele Olson, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD; and G. M. Eosco, Ph.D and K. Rowley

While uncertainty can refer to the inherent chaos of the atmosphere that forecast probabilities describe, uncertainty also refers to the range of human interpretations of forecasts, a feeling of confusion, a lack of knowledge, and decision making in reaction to probabilities. Due to the inherent and pivotal role of uncertainty and probability in weather forecasting, the National Weather Service and Office of Weather and Air Quality (OWAQ) have invested heavily in research that examines the communication and impact of uncertainty and probabilistic forecasts.

Given this investment, there are many peer-reviewed resources across different journals that focus on the many dimensions of uncertainty. However, we lack a comprehensive overview that provides a picture of the current state of knowledge of uncertainty and probability communication. In addition, we lack an understanding of how research funding and investment influences uncertainty and probability communication research itself.

In order to fill this gap, OWAQ consulted with the NOAA Central Library to create an annotated bibliography that provides an overview of the current state of literature on uncertainty and probability communication in the weather domain. This presentation will synthesize the findings outlined in the annotated bibliography, discuss how this type of research correlates to research funding investments, and outline a vision for the next 100 years of uncertainty and probability communication.

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