2022 journal article

The Evolving Role of Humans in Weather Prediction and Communication


By: N. Stuart*, G. Hartfield*, D. Schultz*, K. Wilson*, G. West*, R. Hoffman*, G. Lackmann n, H. Brooks* ...

co-author countries: Canada 🇨🇦 United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 🇬🇧 United States of America 🇺🇸
author keywords: Operational forecasting; Neural networks; Numerical analysis/modeling; Communications/decision making; Societal impacts; Artificial intelligence
Source: Web Of Science
Added: November 28, 2022

Abstract A series of webinars and panel discussions were conducted on the topic of the evolving role of humans in weather prediction and communication, in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the AMS. One main theme that arose was the inevitability that new tools using artificial intelligence will improve data analysis, forecasting, and communication. We discussed what tools are being created, how they are being created, and how the tools will potentially affect various duties for operational meteorologists in multiple sectors of the profession. Even as artificial intelligence increases automation, humans will remain a vital part of the forecast process as that process changes over time. Additionally, both university training and professional development must be revised to accommodate the evolving forecasting process, including addressing the need for computing and data skills (including artificial intelligence and visualization), probabilistic and ensemble forecasting, decision support, and communication skills. These changing skill sets necessitate that both the U.S. Government’s Meteorologist General Schedule 1340 requirements and the AMS standards for a bachelor’s degree need to be revised. Seven recommendations are presented for student and forecaster preparation and career planning, highlighting the need for students and operational meteorologists to be flexible lifelong learners, acquire new skills, and be engaged in the changes to forecast technology in order to best serve the user community throughout their careers. The article closes with our vision for the ways that humans can maintain an essential role in weather prediction and communication, highlighting the interdependent relationship between computers and humans.