1.5 Communicating Impactful Weather across the U.S./Mexico Border using Social Media

Monday, 8 January 2018: 9:45 AM
Ballroom E (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Jason Laney, NOAA/NWS/Weather Forecast Office in El Paso, TX, Santa Teresa, NM; and T. Brice and M. Pazos

Handout (1.6 MB)

With over 2.5 million people the El Paso - Juarez border community is one of the largest metropolitan border areas in North America. Everyday thousands of people and tons of goods cross back and forth between these two cities, but until recently the flow of weather information was stopped at the border. Over the last several years the NWS office in El Paso and Protección Civil (Civil Defense) in Juarez have worked to open up weather communications between the two cities. As you can imagine communication between El Paso and Juarez can be challenging because two different countries and two different languages are involved. Social media has helped bridge those challenges. When storms initially develop over Mexico, social media posts from both governmental organizations and the public in Juarez give the El Paso weather office an idea of what the weather is doing before it crosses the border. This information greatly aids the NWS in producing more effective warning products for the U.S. Other times the severe weather will start in the U.S. and cross to the south. As a courtesy, the NWS in El Paso will place a courtesy call to Proteccion Civil as well as make social media posts (in both Spanish and English) to let the people in Juarez (both Mexican and American citizens) know about the impactful weather on the way. This presentation will focus on two recent hail events that demonstrate the cooperation between NWS El Paso and Protection Civil in Juarez to help protect lives and properties on both sides of the Border.
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