289 A weather survey of western Washington residents: Part I

Monday, 24 January 2011
Washington State Convention Center
Jennifer Chang, University of Washington & NOAA, Tacoma, WA

Handout (368.3 kB)

In December 2007, a strong winter storm significantly affected areas of southwest Washington. The storm acted as a catalyst for this project, determining where, why, and how often western Washington residents seek weather information, and residents' understanding of key terminology used by the National Weather Service (NWS). Investigation into the main research questions began with the development and implementation of a survey focused on weather information, terminology, and NWS resources. Over the course of the data collection process, 1670 total respondents began the survey; 1422 respondents completed the survey. Overall, respondents do not effectively differentiate or understand the key terminology presented (outlook, watch, warning, and advisory), increasing the risk for loss of life and property. The results should guide the development and implementation tools or programs aimed at increasing western Washington residents' understanding of key terminology.
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