2.3 Weatherwise, otherwise, and CCMs

Wednesday, 26 January 2011: 11:00 AM
309 (Washington State Convention Center)
J. Giraytys, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

Today, Ben Franklin's maxim that, “some people are weatherwise, but most are otherwise”, is suspect. People throughout society have been sensitized to weather and climate; at times ad nausem. One estimate is that some 30 million people access weather information regularly on the Internet. Every major TV station has a Doppler radar for detecting and reporting on short-term phenomena (flash floods, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms). States and local governments have developed emergency procedures for dealing with synoptic scale issues (hurricanes, severe winter weather, heat waves). Climate issues (long-term drought and climate change) are both better appreciated and more politicized. There is a paradox that as weather warnings and forecasts have been improved, and as climate issues have been better defined, everyone has become an “expert”. This “expertise”, however, is not uniformly dispersed throughout the society. Therein lies an opportunity, and a challenge for CCM's.

This paper outlines a two-pronged approach to working with local governments and citizen's organizations to build on the weather “expertise” that already exists. One prong is commercially based, and the second is volunteer-based. Specific examples of potential CCM contributions are given for each prong.

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