Current Projects

Improving Forecaster and Partner Interpretation of Uncertainty and Confidence in Risk Information: Cool and Warm Season Tornado Threats in the Southeastern U.S. (a Vortex SE project)

PIs- Dr. Jennifer Henderson, Dr. Julie Demuth;Co-I- Dr. Jennifer Spinney

Update - September 2020 - Thematic Coding of Cool season fieldwork underway

The overall goal of this project is to build knowledge about potential differences and misunderstandings in communication of uncertainty and confidence that arise and propagate throughout the forecast system among three groups: the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Storm Prediction Center (SPC), a NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO), and emergency managers (EMs). Specific outcomes will be to develop new knowledge about (a) how forecasters at national centers and local offices and their key partners conceptualize uncertainty and confidence; and (b) how these concepts emerge during discussions and how interaction amplifies or attenuates uncertainty and confidence in communication leading up to and during tornado events.

Multi-disciplinary investigation of concurrent tornado and flash flood threats in landfalling tropical cyclones (a Vortex SE project)

PIs- Dr. Russ Schumacher, Dr. Jennifer Henderson;Co-Is- Dr. Jennifer Spinney, Dr. Erik Nielsen

Update - September 2020 - Interview and Twitter Analysis underway

This research investigates sense-making, risk and decision processes surrounding tornadoes and flash flood threats that overlap in time, referred to as “TORFF” situations, during Hurricanes Harvey and Florence. Specifically, this project seeks to 1. quantitatively analyze the processes supporting tornadoes at the same locations as locally large rainfall rates, 2. understand NWS forecast and warning challenges for multiple hazards during landfalling tropical cyclones, and 3. understand public risk assessment and vulnerabilities for multi-hazard scenarios through the analysis of Twitter data.

“How Disaster Feels: The Cascading Effects of Time and Experience on Perceptions of Risk, Response and Recovery to Flooding in Whitewater Region Township” (Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) Quick Response Program)

PI- Dr. Brent Doberstein
Co-I/Lead Researcher- Dr. Jennifer Spinney

Update - September 2020 - Initial Interpretations of Interview transcripts near completion 

This research seeks to investigate the cascading effects of time and experience on residential and public stakeholder post-flood risk perception, response and recovery in Whitewater Region Township, Ontario. This will be done by exploring shifts in residents’ and public stakeholders’ experiences with 2019 and 2017 spring flooding, and how these experiences have, over time, contributed to different perceptions and responses to risk, as well as perceived and actual abilities to rebuild after flooding.

Image from article: "'We can't get out': Flooding turns Ottawa Valley community into island"

Northern Tornadoes Project: “The social life of structures: Exploring individual experiences & social recovery from the Angus & Dunrobin, Ontario tornadoes to enhance resilience”

PI: Dr. Gregory Beckett; Co-I/Lead Researcher: Dr. Jennifer Spinney; Co-Is: Dr. Gregory Kopp, Dr. David Sills

Update - September 2020 - Interviewing in Dunrobin underway

This research comparatively examines social aspects of structural recovery in the context of two tornadoes in two different Ontario communities, Angus and Dunrobin, four years apart. The study focuses on learning local perspectives related to experience and recovery following disastrous tornadoes. The effort aims to expand our understanding of what it means to “recover” from a tornado disaster so that we may work towards: improvingrelief/recovery interactions and processes, generating useful tornado safety preparedness and response strategies, and enhancing tornado warning and communication efforts.  

Image from article: "Province releases disaster assistance maps for tornado victims"