Exploring variations in people's sources, uses, and perceptions of weather forecasts

AMS Citation:
Demuth, J., J. K. Lazo, and R. E. Morss, 2011: Exploring variations in people's sources, uses, and perceptions of weather forecasts. Weather, Climate, and Society, doi:10.1175/2011WCAS1061.1.
Date:2011-07-01
Resource Type:article
Title:Exploring variations in people's sources, uses, and perceptions of weather forecasts
Abstract: Past research has shown that individuals vary in their attitudes and behaviors regarding weather forecast information. To deepen knowledge about these variations, this article explores (1) patterns in people's sources, uses, and perceptions of everyday weather forecasts; and (2) relationships among people's sources, uses, and perceptions of forecasts, their personal characteristics, and their experiences with weather and weather forecasts. It does so by performing factor and regression analysis on data from a nationwide survey of the U.S. public, combined with other data. Forecast uses factored into planning for leisure activities and for work/school related activities, while knowing what the weather will be like and planning how to dress remained separate. Forecast parameters factored into importance of precipitation parameters and of temperature-related parameters, suggesting that these represent conceptually different constructs. Regression analysis showed that the primary drivers for how often people obtain forecasts are what they use forecasts for and their perceived importance of and confidence in forecast information. People's forecast uses are explained in large part by their frequency of obtaining forecasts and their perceived importance of temperature-related and precipitation forecast information. This suggests that that individuals' frequency of obtaining forecasts, forecast use, and importance of forecast parameters are closely interrelated. Socio-demographic characteristics and, to a lesser extent, weather-related experience also influence some aspects of people's forecast sources, uses, and perceptions. These findings continue to build understanding of variations among weather forecast users, which can help weather information providers improve communication of forecasts to better meet users' needs.
Peer Review:Refereed
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OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7rr20jg
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/2011WCAS1061.1
Author(s):
  • Julie Demuth - NCAR/UCAR
  • Jeffrey Lazo - NCAR/UCAR
  • Rebecca Morss - NCAR/UCAR
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