The Utilization of Social Media in National Weather Service Operations during Impact Weather Events (222)

Ashley Ravenscraft, National Weather Serivce, Paducah, Kentucky

Derrick Snyder, National Weather Serivce

Patrick Spoden, National Weather Service



In recent years, members of the National Weather Service (NWS) have been able to utilize social media to help carry out the overall mission of protecting life and property, and to help build a Weather-Ready Nation. As society evolves, the NWS must also adapt to changes in the way that its customers receive their information. Through social media, members of the NWS have the opportunity to communicate with a large audience instantaneously, receive crucial, ground truth reports during impact weather events, and strengthen the overall relationship with partners and the public in a more efficient manner.

During the 15 January 2018 snow event, the NWS Paducah office was able to reach over 650,000 people with a single facebook post. During the event, several safety messages were sent out over Facebook and Twitter detailing steps on how to be prepared and encouraging customers to be proactive. Many of the office's Local Storm Reports (LSRs) came from social media, as it was easily monitored and a great way to quickly share information. Social media also provides the opportunity for more visual communication, as NWS Paducah was able to perform several Facebook Live briefings coupled with question and answer sessions, where audience members were able to ask questions specifically relating to their needs. This presentation will illustrate how the NWS Paducah office has utilized Social Media to efficiently send and receive information regarding public safety, immediate at times, with a large audience in a matter of a seconds.