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Some parts of the City (e.g. Sea Point) experienced hails earlier this morning. For obvious reasons or simply because we can hardly experience hails, the condition took attention of many citizens – i.e. children were skating on the pavements partially cover with hail, numerous pictures were taken at different areas at different views, media founds topics/pick-up lines for today headlines and  stories, and so on.

 

Nevertheless; few things took my attention regarding this hail weather. Thus, the comments and posts on social networks (Facebook to be more precise). One friend (a Medic student) posted snapshot/picture of Cape Town’s weather condition for today (the source of this weather update was not revealed). Several comments were added in no less than 10 minutes – a normal thing for popular friends! I never followed (i.e. liked or commented on) the picture. Amazingly, I managed to see this one interesting post  – by my other friend (an employee at e-TV weather division). At that moment, I felt a need to pull out my comment – “Hahahaha…” I was forwarding my comment to my e-TV friend – who provided a link to e-TV weather server and also wrote “Stop using unreliable sources, here is a reliable source”.

 

Since he began working at the weather department (earlier this year), he always provided us (Facebook friends) with daily update.  At times, he would post status stating that “If you need today’s weather update of your location…leave a comment or inbox me”. Many folks (including me) found his posts somehow boring – as they began to be more predictable (like the weather itself) and redundant. Anyway, I believed that his weather-related activities (on Facebook) enlightened many individuals about the Climate/Meteorological Science Research. Let alone that he made weather updates even more accessible. But after that particular weather update post – by my other friend (Medic student) – I began asking myself about possible ways for knowledge transfer. Surely, Facebook updates (as my e-TV friend did) are not really working or enough.

 

Some other questions I began asking myself include the following:

 

1) Do people opt for the available (easily accessible) sources or both available and reliable sources??? Because in this context, not many dimensions (e.g. financial) are really relevant – both “unreliable” and “reliable” updates are one click away.

 

2) Are people (especially those not studying or having interest in climate science) taking notes of these unusual (variable) conditions???

 

3) What is the appropriate way to add your comment is such situation??? If there is, are we (as graduates) well equipped to comment, enlighten the nation or transfer the knowledge, appropriately???

One Response to “Was the HAIL this morning a sign of Climate Change – Cape Town (3 Jun 2013)? Have we used the latter as a platform to transfer our climate science research knowledge???”

  1. Dean Harrison

    I definitely noted the hail event as it completely destroyed my new veggie garden I have been working on for a few weeks 🙁

    Looking at your blog title: a single weather event cannot provide any indication of climate change. It may just be an extreme of the internal climate variability.

    I must admit that I didn’t follow your story about the medic friend and the etv friend but I would quickly like to comment on yout questions.

    1) I think people will look for WEATHER information at a source that they perceive as being the most reliable (within practical limits), regardless of how realizable it is. Lets take our class for example. Each one of us probably uses a different source of weather forecasts that we each continue to use. This is because we each believe that our respective sources forecast the weather adequately. If you didn’t think the forecast was very good, surely you would stop using that particular source. The other problem is that there is no easy way to determine how well a particular forecast source performs (especially for the average joe).

    2) as you mentioned in your first paragraph, people (also including non-atmospheric scientists) definitely took note of the event. The social media explosion of the event is evidence of this as well as the public perceiving the hail event as a rare event.

    3) if we as graduates are not well equipped “to comment, enlighten the nation or transfer the knowledge” then the last few years of study were a total waste and we will be finding it really tough to get a job. Not only should we have the ability to comment appropriately but I believe we also have a moral obligation to share our knowledge