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Listening to Stakeholders: Initiating Research on Sub-seasonal to Seasonal Heavy Precipitation Events in the Contiguous U.S. by First Understanding What Stakeholders Need

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  • 1 1Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
  • | 2 2USGS South Central Climate Science Center, Norman, OK
  • | 3 3National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
  • | 4 4School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
  • | 5 5Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
  • | 6 6Department of Geography, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
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Abstract

Heavy precipitation events and their associated flooding can have major impacts on communities and stakeholders. There is a lack of knowledge, however, about how stakeholders make decisions at the sub-seasonal to seasonal (S2S) timescales (i.e., two weeks to three months). To understand how decisions are made and S2S predictions are or can be used, the project team for “Prediction of Rainfall Extremes at Sub-seasonal to Seasonal Periods” (PRES2iP) conducted a two-day workshop in Norman, Oklahoma, during July 2018. The workshop engaged 21 professionals from environmental management and public safety communities across the contiguous United States in activities to understand their needs for S2S predictions of potential extended heavy precipitation events. Discussions and role-playing activities aimed to identify how workshop participants manage uncertainty and define extreme precipitation, the timescales over which they make key decisions, and the types of products they use currently. This collaboration with stakeholders has been an integral part of PRES2iP research and has aimed to foster actionable science. The PRES2iP team is using the information produced from this workshop to inform the development of predictive models for extended heavy precipitation events and to collaboratively design new forecast products with our stakeholders, empowering them to make more-informed decisions about potential extreme precipitation events.

Corresponding author address: Olivia VanBuskirk, Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, University of Oklahoma, 100 East Boyd Street, Room 510, Norman, Oklahoma 73019, USA. E-mail address: oliviavanbuskirk@ou.edu

Abstract

Heavy precipitation events and their associated flooding can have major impacts on communities and stakeholders. There is a lack of knowledge, however, about how stakeholders make decisions at the sub-seasonal to seasonal (S2S) timescales (i.e., two weeks to three months). To understand how decisions are made and S2S predictions are or can be used, the project team for “Prediction of Rainfall Extremes at Sub-seasonal to Seasonal Periods” (PRES2iP) conducted a two-day workshop in Norman, Oklahoma, during July 2018. The workshop engaged 21 professionals from environmental management and public safety communities across the contiguous United States in activities to understand their needs for S2S predictions of potential extended heavy precipitation events. Discussions and role-playing activities aimed to identify how workshop participants manage uncertainty and define extreme precipitation, the timescales over which they make key decisions, and the types of products they use currently. This collaboration with stakeholders has been an integral part of PRES2iP research and has aimed to foster actionable science. The PRES2iP team is using the information produced from this workshop to inform the development of predictive models for extended heavy precipitation events and to collaboratively design new forecast products with our stakeholders, empowering them to make more-informed decisions about potential extreme precipitation events.

Corresponding author address: Olivia VanBuskirk, Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, University of Oklahoma, 100 East Boyd Street, Room 510, Norman, Oklahoma 73019, USA. E-mail address: oliviavanbuskirk@ou.edu
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