NWS Social Media from a Regional Perspective

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015: 1:30 PM
221A-C (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Brian Hoeth, NOAA/NWS, Fort Worth, TX; and K. M. Van Speybroeck, J. McNatt, and M. Wiley

Social media has become an increasingly valuable tool for the National Weather Service (NWS) for disseminating and gathering weather information. Recent NWS service assessments such as the May 2013 Oklahoma Tornadoes and Flash Flooding have underscored the value of social media for providing lifesaving weather information. Also, NWS offices have found that interaction on social media with the public, media, emergency management, etc. has led to an increase in exchange of information such as providing confirmed storm damage.

The NWS Southern Region (SR) Regional Operations Center (ROC) is tasked with (1) Providing regional Impact Based Decision Support Services (IDSS) and (2) Communicating internally to NWS leadership the weather impacts and local and regional IDSS that are occurring within the NWS Southern Region. To aid in these two tasks, the SR ROC has taken an aggressive role in posting to and monitoring social media.

This presentation will give an overview and some examples of the various social media information that the SR ROC has shared over the past few years. Also, various options will be presented for monitoring social media to gather weather information on a regional scale. Lastly, a brief discussion will be given on best practices, challenges, and lessons learned with using social media from a regional perspective.