Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Sherman-Morris, Kathleen

Committee Member

Gutter, Barrett

Committee Member

Hendricks, John Allen

Committee Member

Brown, Mike

Committee Member

Gabriel, Nate

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Earth and Atmospheric Scineces

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Digital formats and social networks provide unique opportunities for meteorologists to disseminate weather information to the public, but it comes with a set of challenges. These opportunities and challenges may be enhanced when applied to a younger demographic, which acquires information from different platforms than the traditional sources the older demographics utilize. There is a vast amount of literature that focuses on weather dissemination, weather information sources, and risk perception; however, there is a lack of emphasis on 18 to 24 year olds. The first two parts of this dissertation attempted to fill this lack of knowledge on 18 to 24 year olds by conducting interviews at several college campuses to gain rich knowledge of the daily processes involving weather information and determine their understanding of weather graphics. Participants cited checking the weather forecast pretty frequently but utilized non-traditional sources for the weather forecast. It was also determined that participants lacked an understanding of weather products. The last part of this dissertation attempted to obtain a better understanding of the public’s weather knowledge and self-perceived weather knowledge. This study compared the public to those who actively follow specialty weather pages. In addition, how severity impacts decision-making and confidence in decision-making was evaluated. Followers of specialty weather pages had higher self-perceived and assessed weather knowledge. It was also determined that the public is more likely to adhere to recommendations from meteorologists, and that the correlation between self-perceived weather knowledge and confidence is weak.