Jason Samenow

Jason Samenow

As I’ve observed presentations regarding priorities for weather and climate enterprise over the years, much discussion has focused on the importance of bringing research into operations. That’s understandable since a strong link between research and operations is essential to the advancement of our science. But I continue to believe that we must also place an emphasis on connecting operations to the decisions being made by actual people.

Operations to action demands as much of our attention as research to operations.

If we invest in great weather and climate science but the products and services don’t help or even reach their intended audiences, the investment is largely wasted. Fortunately, our community has made enormous strides in recognizing the importance of identifying, listening to and learning from our audiences in recent years to support their needs.

The Weather and Society Integrated Studies (WAS*IS) program, in which I was a proud participant, championed efforts to bring social science into meteorology to better understand if diverse audiences have access to key weather and climate information, can interpret it, and then make sound decisions. 

Out of the WAS*IS movement and other initiatives, there is a flourishing academic area of weather-focused social science research and NOAA has ingrained social science into its operations.  The AMS has proactively supported these efforts through conference sessions and journals while adopting a compelling position statement on the issue.

As an AMS councilor, leveraging over two decades of experience in communicating weather and climate information, I will advocate for and support the society’s efforts to ensure the great work of all our professionals reaches its intended audiences in accessible, understandable, innovative, and useful forms. With climate change intensifying many weather extremes and affecting vulnerable groups disproportionately, this work is more important than ever.

 

Jason Samenow is The Washington Post’s weather editor, a position he’s held for nearly 12 years. He has a passion for communicating weather and climate information through engaging, educational and highly accessible formats.

Samenow began his career as a climate change science and communications specialist at the Environmental Protection Agency, where he steered the agency’s first report on climate change indicators and was a lead author for the scientific synthesis report supporting the endangerment finding for greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

While at the EPA, he launched CapitalWeather.com in his spare time – a blog style website that provided in-depth D.C. area weather forecast information and commentary. The site pioneered new methods for communicating forecast confidence and uncertainty and was among the first weather sites on the internet to encourage reader comments and engagement. To expand its local weather coverage, The Washington Post entered into a partnership with CapitalWeather.com in 2008 and hired Samenow full time in 2010.

Under Samenow’s leadership, The Washington Post has assembled the country’s largest newspaper meteorological team that provides in-depth coverage of D.C., national and international weather news and adjacent topics including climate change, astronomy and space weather.

A native Washingtonian, Samenow became fascinated by the weather when he was in the 5th grade, the same year the city was walloped by several high-impact snowstorms. At the University of Virginia, he earned a degree in environmental science, focusing on atmospheric science. He then earned a master’s degree in atmospheric science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Samenow is a past chairman of the D.C. Chapter of the American Meteorological Society and a Weather and Society Integrated Studies Fellow. He earned the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.