2.3 Active Learning in Forecast Uncertainty Communication: A Role-Playing Game Demonstration

Monday, 8 January 2018: 10:30 AM
Ballroom C (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Tsvetomir Ross-Lazarov, UCAR/COMET, Boulder, CO; and B. Guarente and A. M. Smith

As National Hydrological and Meteorological Services (NHMS) continue to advance toward more complex Impact-Based Decision Support Services (IDSS), forecasters must broaden their knowledge of risk management and effective communication practices. The COMET® Program and Meteorological Service of Canada host forecasters from a variety of NHMS offices annually as part of a 2-week winter weather forecasting training course. Part of the course focuses on effectively using ensemble prediction system output to communicate forecast uncertainty in text products and direct communications with decision makers.

A game in the course asks participants to assume the role of a local decision-maker, and they are tasked with using ensemble output to choose among several levels of event preparedness, such as salting roads or scheduling more emergency employees for a shift. Participants spend money from their response fund based on their selected level of preparedness, and they also earn an organizational confidence rating based on their performance. The participant(s) with the most funding remaining and highest confidence ratings “win” the game, but all participants get to practice perspective-taking to better understand the difficulties that decision-makers face when using probabilistic weather information. The game serves as an important first step to broader discussions on best practices for communicating forecast uncertainty information to a variety of stakeholders.

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