JPD2.2 The Psychology of Meteorology

Wednesday, 10 June 2015: 3:45 PM
304 (Raleigh Convention Center)
Robert Ryan, Consulting Meteorologist, McLean, VA

Over the last 50+ years meteorology and forecasting has moved from individual and team analysis and analogous approaches to the forecast challenge, to largely machine generated digital deterministic tools. What are the psychological pressures and biases today's forecasters face? What demands are put on individual forecasters dealing with correctly predicting life threatening weather? What are the stresses today's forecaster and broadcast meteorologist faces and how are they similar to other stresses faced by other professions such as the medical community? What psychological pressures and biases such as recency bias, peer pressure and confirmation bias influence forecaster decision making? Do psychological pressures such as the “bandwagon effect” and fear of failure lead to the “forecast of least regret”? What are the experiences of forecasters dealing with short fuse life threatening forecasts such as tornado warnings and flash floods? How does the public-broadcast meteorologist deal with a “busted” big forecast and how does it influence thinking before the next “big” event? Do psychological pressures and biases affect how and what we communicate? What are physical and psychological stresses we can watch for and what are tools for better rational thinking under stressful situations? What are lessons learned and best practices from forecasters who have faced these challenges for many years? What is the role of the individual forecaster or broadcaster in the years ahead as machine generated forecasts become close to 100% accurate? These and other topics will be discussed by the panel of NWS and broadcast meteorologists, experts in behavioral psychology and stress management, and the attendees during this session
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner