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Robert R. Hoffman
Mark Detweiler
Jane A. Conway
, and
Kevin Lipton


This article is intended to facilitate discussion of issues related to the use of color in new meteorological displays. Given the proliferation of new graphics display capabilities (e.g., overlays, animation, the combination of statistical models or numerical fields with satellite images, etc.) and new information sources (e.g., Doppler radar, wind profilers, etc.), the challenge of using color effectively without interfering with users’ abilities to interact with these systems has never been greater. Psychological and ergonomic research on the perception and interpretation of colored graphical displays is reviewed not only to ferret out recommendations but to disclose the design issues raised for meteorology. In addition to relying on tradition and consensus on meteorological symbology and the use of color, an iterative empirical strategy is recommended to help establish whether candidate color schemes could result in interpretation problems when applied to actual meteorological data.

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