Theses and Dissertations


Sherman-Morris, Kathleen

Committee Member

Gutter, Barrett F.

Committee Member

Poe, Philip S.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Immediate Worldwide Access

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Geoscience (Professional Meteorology/Climatology)

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Tornado warnings are life-threatening situations, and since the public uses television as the main source for tornado warning information, it is important to know how different visuals and messages are influencing the opinions and intentions of people. This research found that participants were more apt to say they would shelter if they were shown a tornado video than a radar video displaying storm-relative velocity or correlation coefficient, while seeing the tornado brought out a heightened level of anxiety and fear. Participants were most influenced by a call-to-action statement spoken by the meteorologist. Participants expressed negative feelings after being asked to both shelter and send in tornado footage at the same time. The standard call-to-action video and one with the addition of viewer-submitted tornado footage were statistically equivalent. Participants more correctly identified the location of a tornado on the radar product explained to them than one that was not.