Two-way communication and feedback is essential between information providers and users.

  • Create understanding between the culture of decision making in forecasting and cultures of decision making in the user communities.

  • Understand not only the words used in the forecasts but also the meanings of those words in the user community.

Accurately understand the forecaster’s role, place, and responsibility in the decision-making process. The following actions were suggested:

  • Know the audience.

  • Coordinate across the spectrum from science to decision making to enhance appropriate responses.

  • Learn about the decision-making process and “thresholds” in that process as a part of the responsibility of the information provider.

Pressures in a competitive market can result in unwarranted urgent responses to many weather threats. The following factors may affect these situations:

  • Forecasts not fully supported by the state of the science may have an enormous impact on decision makers and may reduce the credibility of future forecasts.

  • Dissemination of guidelines and case studies and an active role by professional societies could be used to limit the negative effects and user confusion associated with the possible trend toward unwarranted hype and unfounded claims of accuracy of previous forecasts.

  • Information providers should understand and nurture the role of the media in educating the users of weather and climate information.

  • Heightened interest during and following weather and climate events provides opportunities to educate the public.

  • Clear, graphic warnings, which the public can grasp, may increase the chances for intelligent responses to threat.

If part of the goal of a scientific endeavor is to communicate the findings to the public and policy makers, then the charge and findings should be written with that audience in mind. Dissemination should not be an afterthought. Executive summaries and press releases are helpful, but lay language should not be confined exclusively to these documents.

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