Crowdsourcing hazardous weather reports from citizens via twittersphere under the short warning lead times of EF5 intensity tornado conditions
The May 20 2013 tornado in Oklahoma has demonstrated the short warning lead times of EF5 intensity tornadoes, even with the integrated Next Generation Weather Surveillance Doppler Radar network, remain a challenge both for governments responsible for early warnings and citizens who need to respond appropriately. Although research on government use of social media for adaptable disaster response is emerging, little is known about social media-mediated early tornado warnings and crowdsourcing in the e-government literature. This research, therefore, aims to reduce this gap in the literature through a case study of the National Weather Service's experimental use of Twitter for crowdsourcing hazardous weather reports from citizens during and in the immediate aftermath of the May 20 tornado. Our social network analysis and content analysis results found evidence for value of the #okwx Twittersphere to tie closely the government and volunteer citizen tornado watchers and enable multidirectional interactive conversations and crowdsourcing.