Storm naming and forecast communication: A case study of Storm Doris

Charlton-Perez, Andrew J.; Vukadinovic Greetham, Danica and Hemingway, Rebecca (2019). Storm naming and forecast communication: A case study of Storm Doris. Meteorological Applications, 26(4) pp. 682–697.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/met.1794

Abstract

On the 23rd February 2017, a significant low-pressure system named Storm Doris crossed the Republic of Ireland and the UK causing widespread disruption. As an early example of a storm named through the Met Office and Met Eireann ‘Name our Storms’ project, this provided an excellent opportunity to study how information about extreme weather in the UK spread through the media. In traditional media, the forecast of Storm Doris was widely reported upon on the 21st and 22nd February. On the 23rd February, newspaper coverage of the event rapidly switched to reporting the impact of the storm. Around three times the number of words and twice the number of articles were published about the impacts of Storm Doris in comparison to its forecast. Storm Doris rapidly became a broader cultural topic with an imprint on political news because of two by-elections that occurred by coincidence on the 23rd February. In the social media, rapid growth of the number of tweets about Storm Doris closely mirrored the growth of newspaper articles about the impacts of the storm. The network structure of the tweets associated with Storm Doris revealed the importance of both the Met Office official twitter account and newspaper and rail company accounts in disseminating information about the storm. Storm names, in addition to their benefit for forecast communication, also provide researchers with a useful and easily collected target to study the development and evolution of public understanding of extreme weather events.

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