312265 Winter Weather Information Dissemination through Naming Winter Storms

Tuesday, 24 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Christopher Soelle, Millersville University, Lancaster, PA

In 2012, The Weather Channel (TWC) began the practice of naming winter storms that impacted the contiguous US. Skeptics and critics in the meteorology community scrutinized the methods and questioned the motives. In 2014, TWC implemented objective naming criteria based on the winter weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service. TWC has expressed interest in having other partners take the lead in naming winter storms, but no organizations have stepped forward. In the 2015-2016 winter season, the UK Met Office and Met Éireann began their own partnership to name winter storms that significantly impacted their own countries. Both TWC and the UK Met Office cite public safety and hazardous weather awareness as the motive to name winter storms. The strongest catalyst behind the naming program has been the rise of Twitter. Individuals turn to this social media platform for real-time news and ideas. This study will focus on collecting and analyzing tweets (users’ posts on Twitter) in order to determine the user base, the context in which these tweets are utilized and whether this has an impact on reaching new audiences.
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