Convective Meteorology (Mesoscale Dynamics)

Eye-Tracking Applications in Operational Meteorology

Katie Bowden

School of Meteorology

25 March 2016, 3:30 PM

National Weather Center, Room 5600
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

Since 2010, members of the Phased Array Radar Innovative Sensing Experiment (PARISE) team have been conducting research to understand the impacts of higher-temporal resolution radar data on National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters’ warning decision processes. In the 2012 and 2013 PARISE, retrospective recall methods were used to bring to light what forecasters see, think, and do while interrogating radar data and making warning decisions. While this method has yielded insightful data, the use of eye-tracking research methods was sought due to inherent limitations in retrospective recall methods such as imperfect accuracy of recalls and incomplete representations of intricate cognitive processes.

Although eye-tracking research has been conducted in a variety of research domains (e.g., medicine, education, and air traffic control), it has not been applied in research focused on NWS forecasters. Therefore, a first step in this new research endeavor was to collect an NWS forecaster’s eye gaze data and analyze whether this type of data would be a valuable contribution towards answering our research questions. In the spring of 2015, the Tobii TX300 eye-tracking system was used to collect a single NWS forecaster’s eye gaze data as he worked a severe weather event in simulated real time. Results focused on the forecaster’s eye fixation behavior (i.e., moments when he focused on a specific location of the screen for at least 60 ms). In this seminar, heatmap and temporal trend analyses will be shared, and the usefulness of this type of data will be discussed. Following from the spring 2015 pilot study, the 2015 PARISE integrated eye-tracking research methods into its 6-week experiment. Eye gaze data were collected from 30 NWS forecasters during one simulated real time weather event. The experimental design of this eye-tracking study and preliminary results will also be shared in this seminar.

Convective Meteorology (Mesoscale Dynamics) Seminar Series website