Public Engagement on Weather and Climate with a Monsoon Fantasy Forecasting Game
|Public Engagement on Weather and Climate with a Monsoon Fantasy Forecasting Game
|Year of Publication
|Guido, Z, McMahan, B, Crimmins, M
|Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
The North American monsoon generates heavy rainfall across the southwestern United States between July and September, delivering beneficial moisture to the region and creating hazards that affect public and personal safety. The monsoon thus has the rapt attention of the public and science community, providing an opportunity to improve weather and climate literacy and public engagement in science. Engaging the public to forecast weather and climate phenomenon through contests offers an innovative way to reach diverse audiences and increase weather and climate literacy. We describe a “Monsoon Fantasy Forecasting” game conducted in 2021 with approximately 300 participants. The game that engaged the public in the forecasting of monthly rainfall at cities in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. We report on the game’s interactive design, results, and feedback. We show that the game attracted a diverse audience who was not the typical weather and climate enthusiast, and we provide suggestive results that the game may have influenced the players information-seeking behaviors. We argue that activities that provoke people to observe and think routinely about climate can help educate and build awareness about weather and climate issues.