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Weather warnings: from EXtreme event Information to COMunication and action (WEXICOM IV)


Disaster Research Unit (DRU)

Principal Investigator:
Research Team:
Aug 01, 2023 — Jul 31, 2027

WEXICOM IV is a research project funded by the Hans-Ertel Center for Weather Research and conducted in collaboration between different research institutes and working groups of the Freie Universität Berlin and the Max-Planck-Institute for Human Development. In an interdisciplinary approach combining meteorology, social sciences, and psychology, the project aims to boost the societal anticipation and response to weather and climate risks through improved warnings, impact and climate risk communications based on a better understanding of how and when they work.

The sub-project of the DRU (WP 4) „Investigating public response to weather warnings“ aims to improve the effectiveness of weather warnings focusing on the public. To accomplish this goal, it is necessary to reveal the behavioral response to weather warnings. Most studies examining the impact of weather warnings in Germany use hypothetical weather scenarios, but intended behavior does not equal actual behavior. Investigating actual weather events is essential to understand the behavioral response and influencing aspects. Therefore, we will acquire basic knowledge of how different subgroups respond to actual weather warnings and real high-impact weather events. The DRU explores sociocultural frames, event-related, individual, and social factors that impact the reception, perception, and behavioral public response to weather warnings by implementing two quick-response representative online surveys and a media frame analysis. Secondly, based on prior research (e.g. WEXICOM III) we will test the effectiveness of different weather warning formats by implementing an experimental survey. Furthermore, the repeated measurements over a prolonged period provide information to monitor changes regarding climate and weather warning perception and to identify possible reasons for the changes.

The results obtained in WEXICOM IV enhance the effectiveness of issued weather warnings. The subproject provides adapted and tested warning formats. Moreover, the results allow to understand the effect of high-impact weather events and real-life weather warnings on distinct groups of the public. It supports further development of specific forecasting and warning strategies. The developed, tested and programmed standardised questionnaire as well as the analysis code for the descriptive evaluation of the data will be publicly available beyond the project duration and can be used by different actors to monitor public response to weather warnings.