7.2 Revisiting the Color Conundrum: On the Use of Color in Weather Displays

Wednesday, 10 January 2018: 10:45 AM
Ballroom E (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Matthew J. Bolton, Saint Leo Univ., Saint Leo, FL; and H. M. Mogil

There has been much recent discussion in the integrated weather – social science community, on the use of color in meteorological data products (i.e., weather graphics/displays). Dialogue has revolved around the consistency of colors, color’s role in communicating messages, and other related topics, including considerations that should be made for individuals with color vision differences / color blindness. Based on discussions about color vision, the National Weather Service has taken steps to improve the color scales used in some of their data displays, changing from a standardized, broad spectrum view to one which typically reflects only the data shown in the graphic. These images have, in turn, become more accessible to those with color vision differences. Some broadcast meteorologists have, likewise, addressed the issue of color use in their own graphic creation workflow. However, we continue to observe numerous situations, in both non-broadcast and broadcast settings, in which color usage becomes problematical. In this presentation, we’ll examine some of the ways in which color is used inappropriately, and offer suggestions for improving its use.
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