Weather and Society

Writing Assignments

Write a professional letter addressed to the science and operations officer at the Greenville–Spartanburg National Weather Service forecast office. In your letter, suggest at least two changes to the present communication methods in the severe weather warning process. Your ideas could pertain to the media through which people receive their warnings or they may pertain to the content of the message itself. For two real examples, see this severe thunderstorm warning for Asheville and this tornado warning for a location just east of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The full links are available at the bottom of this page in case you have printed this assignment.

As you make your case, you will need to describe the present state of the communication method or wording that you wish to improve upon. Then suggest your improvement. Please be clear in your explanation through a succinct statement of each solution, followed by an elaboration of your proposed solution in the following sentence or two. Then give an example of how your solution would work in practice.

You will find a template of a professional letter, including the name and address of the recipient of your letter, on Moodle. Follow the structure of the letter exactly, replacing text with your own writing as necessary. Please be sure to change the closing to something more appropriate for your own letter. Your letter may be shorter or longer than the example here, but write only enough to get your point across in an efficient way. Few people choose to read an extraordinarily long letter from a stranger. As always, correct spelling and grammar are expected, as well as a professional style. Your grade will depend upon the extent to which you meet the requirements stated above.

This assignment is due in class on Thursday, September 26. Bring a printed copy of your story to class and upload your document on Moodle.

The URL for the severe thunderstorm warning message for Asheville is

The URL for the tornado warning message for Alabama is