Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 6 of 6 items for

  • Author or Editor: Eve Gruntfest x
  • Refine by Access: Content accessible to me x
Clear All Modify Search
John F. Weaver
,
Eve Gruntfest
, and
Glenn M. Levy

A flash flood in Fort Collins, Colorado, on 28 July 1997 resulted in 5 deaths, 62 injuries, and more than $250 million in property damage. Following the 1997 flood, a great many changes were made in the city's preparedness infrastructure. On 30 April 1999, a combination of heavy rain and melting snow caused a second, less serious flood event. This article reports on the changes implemented following the first flood and their effectiveness during the second.

Full access
Rebecca E. Morss
,
Olga V. Wilhelmi
,
Mary W. Downton
, and
Eve Gruntfest

The magnitude of flood damage in the United States, combined with the uncertainty in current estimates of flood risk, suggest that society could benefit from improved scientific information about flood risk. To help address this perceived need, a group of researchers initiated an interdisciplinary study of climate variability, scientific uncertainty, and hydrometeorological information for flood-risk decision making, focused on Colorado's Rocky Mountain Front Range urban corridor. We began by investigating scientific research directions that were likely to benefit flood-risk estimation and management, through consultation with climatologists, hydrologists, engineers, and planners. In doing so, we identified several challenges involved in generating new scientific information to aid flood management in the presence of significant scientific and societal uncertainty. This essay presents lessons learned from this study, along with our observations on the complex interactions among scientific information, uncertainty, and societal decision making. It closes by proposing a modification to the “end to end” approach to conducting societally relevant scientific research. Although we illustrate points using examples from flood management, the concepts may be applicable to other arenas, such as global climate change.

Full access
Lindsey R. Barnes
,
David M. Schultz
,
Eve C. Gruntfest
,
Mary H. Hayden
, and
Charles C. Benight

Abstract

Two items need to be clarified from an earlier work of the authors. The first is that the layout of the 2 × 2 contingency table was reversed from standard practice, with the titles of “observed event” and “forecast” transposed. The second is that FAR should have represented “false alarm ratio,” not “false alarm rate.” Unfortunately, the terminology used in the atmospheric sciences is confusing, with authors as early as 1965 having used the terminology differently from currently accepted practice. More recent studies are not much better. A survey of peer-reviewed articles published in American Meteorological Society journals between 2001 and 2007 found that, of 26 articles using those terms, 10 (38%) used them inconsistently with the currently accepted definitions. This article recommends that authors make explicit how their verification statistics are calculated in their manuscripts and consider using the terms probability of false detection and probability of false alarm instead of false alarm rate and false alarm ratio.

Full access
Julie L. Demuth
,
Eve Gruntfest
,
Rebecca E. Morss
,
Sheldon Drobot
, and
Jeffrey K. Lazo

Weather and Society*Integrated Studies (WAS*IS) is a grassroots movement to change the weather enterprise by comprehensively and sustainably integrating social science into meteorological research and practice. WAS*IS is accomplishing this by establishing a framework for a) building an interdisciplinary community of practitioners, researchers, and stakeholders who are dedicated to the integration of meteorology and social science, and b) providing this community with a means to learn and further examine ideas, methods, and examples related to integrated weather-society work.

In its first year, WAS*IS focused on achieving its mission primarily through several workshops. Between July 2005 and August2006, there were three WAS*IS workshops with a total of 86 selected participants. The workshops focused on the following: laying the groundwork for conducting interdisciplinary work, teaching basic tools and concepts relevant to integrated weather-society efforts, using real-world examples to learn about effective integrated work, and developing opportunities and relationships for doing WAS*IS-type work. By emphasizing the importance of developing a lifelong cohort, as well as helping participants learn and apply social science tools and concepts, WAS*IS can address societal impacts of weather in powerful and sustained ways.

This article discusses the need and motivation for creating WAS*IS; the development, scope, and implementation of WAS*IS through summer of 2006; and WAS*IS-related outcomes thus far, as well as future prospects of the WAS*IS movement.

Full access
Lindsey R. Barnes
,
Eve C. Gruntfest
,
Mary H. Hayden
,
David M. Schultz
, and
Charles Benight

Abstract

The false alarm rate (FAR) measures the fraction of forecasted events that did not occur, and it remains one of the key metrics for verifying National Weather Service (NWS) weather warnings. The national FAR for tornado warnings in 2003 was 0.76, indicating that only one in four tornado warnings was verified. The NWS’s goal for 2010 is to reduce this value to 0.70. Conventional wisdom is that false alarms reduce the public’s willingness to respond to future events. This paper questions this conventional wisdom. In addition, this paper argues that the metrics used to evaluate false alarms do not accurately represent the numbers of actual false alarms or the forecasters’ abilities because current metrics categorize events as either a hit or a miss and do not give forecasters credit for close calls. Aspects discussed in this paper include how the NWS FAR is measured, how humans respond to warnings, and what are alternative approaches to measure FAR. A conceptual model is presented as a framework for a new perspective on false alarms that includes close calls, providing a more balanced view of forecast verification.

Full access
David M. Schultz
,
Eve C. Gruntfest
,
Mary H. Hayden
,
Charles C. Benight
,
Sheldon Drobot
, and
Lindsey R. Barnes

Abstract

One of the goals of the Warning Project is to understand how people receive warnings of hazardous weather and subsequently use this information to make decisions. As part of the project, 519 surveys from Austin, Texas, floodplain residents were collected and analyzed. About 90% of respondents understood that a tornado warning represented a more serious and more likely threat than a tornado watch. Most respondents (86%) were not concerned about a limited number of false alarms or close calls reducing their confidence in future warnings, suggesting no cry-wolf effect. Most respondents reported safe decisions in two hypothetical scenarios: a tornado warning issued while the respondent was home and a tornado visible by the respondent while driving. However, nearly half the respondents indicated that they would seek shelter from a tornado under a highway overpass if they were driving. Despite the limitations of this study, these results suggest that more education is needed on the dangers of highway overpasses as shelter from severe weather.

Full access