On weather forecasts and updates

Weather forecasts and updates provided by government agencies like PAGASA and NDRRMC are in my assessment highly technical.  An example, the update on hurricane Falcon made at 11 PM on 23 June 2011:

maximum sustained winds of 75 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph

movement:  northwest at 19 kph

How fast is 75 kph?  What could the storm destroy at this speed?  How long, just roughly, would winds moving at 75 kph reach my place from the hurricane’s last position? When the storm is going 75 kph near the center, how far am I from the center?  Plus, these information are delivered in English and Pilipino, languages that most don’t readily grasp.

What then is the profile of your audience?

Farmers, fisher folks, masons, street sweepers, children and young people would need information they can readily understand.  The role of media and government is to translate jargon in weather and climate into user-friendly messages.  Otherwise, they should stop blaming people for doing nothing despite a the onset of a “150 kph storm moving at 19 kph northwest”.


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