Importance of Environmental Weather Monitoring for Emergency Management in Oklahoma

Authors: Dolly Na-Yemeh*, University of Oklahoma, Jad R Ziolkowska (Ph.D), University of Oklahoma
Topics: Economic Geography, Climatology and Meteorology, Behavioral Geography
Keywords: Mesonet, Emergency Managers, Environmental Weather Monitoring, Decision-making, Oklahoma
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Muses, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The availability of timely and high-quality data provided by mesonets creates opportunities for educated and effective decision-making processes and policy design. An important aspect of the development and usage of mesonet data is in their wide variety of applications in environmental and emergency management agencies, water managers, farmers, energy producers and distributors, the transportation sector, the commercial sector, media, and the general public. These developments are particularly important for emergency management decision-making because the “local scale” of mesonet observations intrinsically allows forecasters to pinpoint the locations of fronts and other boundaries, for convective initiation and wind shifts, among others. This research is focused on the Oklahoma Mesonet’s OK-First that has been used for many years to support decision-making in the face of many natural and manmade disasters in the state. Specifically, the purpose of this research is to quantitatively evaluate benefits provided by the OK-First, while also identifying future societal needs, challenges and possible solutions. This research will apply a focused survey with Emergency Managers to derive primary data, while the Mesonet weather information will be used directly as the secondary data source. The results of this research will quantify economic benefits of the OK-First to the state of Oklahoma and help address specific weather-related needs for future emergency management programs.

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