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Hardcover | $55.00 X | £45.95 | 488 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 82 b&w illus., 21 color plates | August 2017 | ISBN: 9780262036061
eBook | $39.00 X | August 2017 | ISBN: 9780262339391
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Minding the Weather

How Expert Forecasters Think


This book argues that the human cognition system is the least understood, yet probably most important, component of forecasting accuracy. Minding the Weather investigates how people acquire massive and highly organized knowledge and develop the reasoning skills and strategies that enable them to achieve the highest levels of performance.

The authors consider such topics as the forecasting workplace; atmospheric scientists’ descriptions of their reasoning strategies; the nature of expertise; forecaster knowledge, perceptual skills, and reasoning; and expert systems designed to imitate forecaster reasoning. Drawing on research in cognitive science, meteorology, and computer science, the authors argue that forecasting involves an interdependence of humans and technologies. Human expertise will always be necessary.

About the Authors

Robert R. Hoffman is Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Pensacola, Florida.

Daphne S. LaDue is a Research Scientist at the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms and Director of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program at the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

H. Michael Mogil is currently a consulting meteorologist focusing on meteorological education in the primary and secondary school systems.

Paul J. Roebber is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

J. Gregory Trafton is Cognitive Scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.


“This is a landmark book. An in-depth account of expertise at its highest level. A fascinating and highly readable explanation of how experts take advantage of technology. Besides, who can resist an inside look at the work of weather forecasters? This book has been years in the making, years in the polishing, and is destined to take its place among the classics of scientific scholarship.”
Gary Klein, author of Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions
Minding the Weather is a remarkable book! It discusses in great detail how individuals become weather forecasters, and beyond that, expert weather forecasters. It shows that weather forecasting is a continuous, lifelong learning process, which, if one learns the lessons being taught by the atmosphere, can lead to a high level of professional expertise. This book is for anyone responsible for educating, training, and employing weather forecasters.”
John T. Snow, Regents' Professor Emeritus of Meteorology, Dean Emeritus, College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, University of Oklahoma
“How are weather forecasters able to reveal the future? How does one become an expert? What does it mean to be an expert? These are just some of the questions that the authors pose in this excellent, all-encompassing book about weather forecasting and the minds of those who make the forecasts. Minding the Weather opens the brains of forecasters, peeks inside, and reveals how they think, how they make forecasts, and how they become experts.”
David M. Schultz, Professor of Synoptic Meteorology, University of Manchester; author of Eloquent Science: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Better Writer, Speaker and Atmospheric Scientist