How Forecasters Decide to Warn about Tornadoes: Multi-Sited Rapid Ethnography Training Guide

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Social scientists are prolific in their recommendations on how to better warn about tornadoes. However, social scientists rarely work in partnership with operational forecasters, begging the question of how applicable their recommendations are to the “real world.” As part of a two-year project funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with the goal of better understanding how forecasters decide to warn about tornadoes, we conducted a multi-sited rapid ethnography (along with telephone interviews and a cross-sectional survey of forecasters and managers). Here we archive our ethnography training guide should other researchers conduct similar research.


This guide was developed before multi-sited rapid ethnography data collection to provide a consistent, rigorous approach while in the field. The guide may assist others who conduct similar research.