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AMS conferences in Raleigh bring weather geeks from across the country

Since yesterday, my coworkers have been playing our own version of "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" and wondering why I'm not at my desk or even in the building. Well maybe they haven't had as much fun with it as I have, but if they put all the pieces together (or just asked me), they'd know that I'm just a few blocks away at the Raleigh Convention Center being a real weather nerd.

The American Meteorological Society is holding two conferences in town this week: the 43rd Conference on Broadcast Meteorology and the Third Conference on Weather Warnings and Communication. Meteorologists from all over the country and a few from other nations are in town to participate in conversations about how we can better communicate information with you. I bet you didn't know that we think so much about it, but we do. Daily.

This year is the first time Raleigh has hosted an AMS meeting, and I'd like to think we're making a good impression. With great restaurants and free entertainment in the evenings such as the Oak City 7 concert tonight and the free movie on the plaza tomorrow night, we have plenty to offer visitors to downtown. I am proud of our city, but I digress.

Over the course of three days, we weather geeks will be learning from each other and other professionals such as social scientist and communication experts about the resources, technologies, and techniques for better clearly conveying information to the public.

The science of communication has become a hot topic among meteorologists in recent years, especially those with public-facing positions - television and radio broadcasters, weather bloggers, National Weather Service employees, etc. We know that the messages we send out are only useful if the audience understands them, and to make that happen, we have to understand our audience.

Over the next several weeks, I'll be sharing more about the topics of the meetings with you.

If you see more people than usual in downtown Raleigh today looking up at the sky and talking about the weather, now you know why.

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