In order for weather forecasts and warnings to have value, the information created must be communicated to people at risk, received, understood, and used. Effective communication of high impact weather forecasts and warnings includes disseminating the information to the people that need and can use it, through appropriate channels, and conveying the information so that it is understood, interpreted, and used in ways that promote appropriate protective action. It includes both applied work to improve communication practice, and research to understand the reasons for underlying existing communication gaps (or unmet needs) and ways to improve them.
Expertise in several fields, including behavioural psychology, marketing and communication science will be brought together to contribute to this work, which has much in common with communication problems in other risk-related contexts, particularly health. While the aim of forecasts and warnings is to influence specific decisions and actions, this work will also be relevant to the issue of using science to influence policy which is a concern of climate scientists. Links will be developed with relevant parts of the climate community to ensure that relevant findings are shared.