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Cloudy With a 20% Chance of Uncertainty

Recovering TV meteorologist Sara Kobilka shares strategies for communicating uncertainty in weather forecasting. 


Communicating Hazard Information in the Modern Environment (CHIME)

Pop Quiz: 20 Percent Chance of Rain. Do You Need an Umbrella? (2014)

What Does It Really Mean When There’s A 20% Chance Of Rain? It’s Complicated

What to Tell People to Get Them to Evacuate Before a Hurricane Hits (2017)

Morss, R. E., Demuth, J. L., & Lazo, J. K. (2008). Communicating uncertainty in weather forecasts: A survey of the US public. Weather and forecasting, 23(5), 974-991.

Morss, R. E., Lazo, J. K., & Demuth, J. L. (2010). Examining the use of weather forecasts in decision scenarios: Results from a US survey with implications for uncertainty communication. Meteorological Applications, 17(2), 149-162.

Broad, K., Leiserowitz, A., Weinkle, J., & Steketee, M. (2007). Misinterpretations of the “Cone of Uncertainty” in Florida during the 2004 Hurricane Season, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 88(5), 651-668. Retrieved Feb 17, 2021

Meyer, R., Broad, K., Orlove, B., & Petrovic, N. (2012). Dynamic Simulation as an Approach to Understanding Hurricane Risk Response: Insights from the Stormview Lab

Pliske, R. M., Crandall, B., & Klein, G. (2004). Competence in weather forecasting. Psychological investigations of competence in decision making, 40, 68.

Bica, M., Weinberg, J., & Palen, L. (2020). Achieving Accuracy through Ambiguity: the Interactivity of Risk Communication in Severe Weather Events. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), 29(5), 587-623.

Keul, A. G., & Holzer, A. M. (2013). The relevance and legibility of radio/TV weather reports to the Austrian public. Atmospheric research, 122, 32-42.

Journals of Interest

 International Journal for Uncertainty Quantification

 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

 Risk Analysis


Sara Kobilka

Sara Kobilka is the owner and principal consultant for Renaissance Woman Consulting LLC and a dedicated lifelong learner. She is passionate about education, communication, outreach, networking and issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, access, accessibility, belonging and social justice. Sara is involved nationally in diversity in STEM (including serving as a national trainer for SciGirls, Hero Elementary, Click2Science and ACRES) and STEM engagement initiatives. Over the course of her career, she’s been a broadcast meteorologist/journalist, formal and informal educator, non-profit leader, career consultant and entrepreneur. Her goal is to encourage collaborative, trans-disciplinary thinking, and develop a STEM identity in all individuals. She enjoys a Renaissance woman life-style, both inside and outside of her work life and is actively raising two Renaissance girls.

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