Maintaining the Role of Humans in the Forecast Process: Analyzing the Psyche of Expert Forecasters

View More View Less
© Get Permissions
Full access

The Second Forum on the Future Role of the Human in the Forecast Process occurred on 2–3 August 2005 at the American Meteorological Society's Weather Analysis and Forecasting Conference in Washington, D.C. The forum consisted of three sessions. This paper discusses the second session, featuring three presentations on the cognitive and psychological aspects of expert weather forecasters. The first presentation discussed the learning gap between students (goal seekers) and teachers (knowledge seekers)—a similar gap exists between forecasters and researchers. In order to most effectively train students or forecasters, teachers must be able to teach across this gap using some methods described within. The second presentation discussed the heuristics involved in weather forecasting and decision making under time constraints and uncertainty. The final presentation classified the spectrum of forecasters from intuitive scientists to the disengaged. How information technology can best be adapted so as not to inhibit intuitive scientists from their mental modeling of weather scenarios is described. Forecasters must continuously refine their skills through education and training, and be aware of the heuristic contributions to the forecast process, to maintain expertise and have the best chance of ensuring a dynamic role in the future forecast process.

NOAA/National Weather Service, Wakefield, Virginia (Current affiliation: National Weather Service, Albany, New York)

Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma, and NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma (Current affiliation: Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Physical Sciences, University of Helsinki, and Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland)

Klein Associates Division of Applied Research Associates, Fairborn, Ohio

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Neil A. Stuart, National Weather Service, 251 Fuller Road, Suite B300, Albany, NY 12203, E-mail: Neil.Stuart@noaa.gov

The Second Forum on the Future Role of the Human in the Forecast Process occurred on 2–3 August 2005 at the American Meteorological Society's Weather Analysis and Forecasting Conference in Washington, D.C. The forum consisted of three sessions. This paper discusses the second session, featuring three presentations on the cognitive and psychological aspects of expert weather forecasters. The first presentation discussed the learning gap between students (goal seekers) and teachers (knowledge seekers)—a similar gap exists between forecasters and researchers. In order to most effectively train students or forecasters, teachers must be able to teach across this gap using some methods described within. The second presentation discussed the heuristics involved in weather forecasting and decision making under time constraints and uncertainty. The final presentation classified the spectrum of forecasters from intuitive scientists to the disengaged. How information technology can best be adapted so as not to inhibit intuitive scientists from their mental modeling of weather scenarios is described. Forecasters must continuously refine their skills through education and training, and be aware of the heuristic contributions to the forecast process, to maintain expertise and have the best chance of ensuring a dynamic role in the future forecast process.

NOAA/National Weather Service, Wakefield, Virginia (Current affiliation: National Weather Service, Albany, New York)

Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma, and NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma (Current affiliation: Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Physical Sciences, University of Helsinki, and Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland)

Klein Associates Division of Applied Research Associates, Fairborn, Ohio

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Neil A. Stuart, National Weather Service, 251 Fuller Road, Suite B300, Albany, NY 12203, E-mail: Neil.Stuart@noaa.gov
Save