The world revolves around weather information - whether the need is to understand, prepare for, or navigate weather. Although traditional television viewership of weather forecasts are on the decline, mobile weather applications are becoming the new media medium for weather information. In fact, the total number of app downloads in the weather market reached 69.5 million at the end of 2021 (Statista, 2021). As a result, understanding the characteristics of weather app users and what those users are looking for is pertinent to research regarding weather communication. While weather is an ongoing phenomenon sought to be understood by people for many decades, the uses and gratifications of engaging in weather communication are under-researched in literature. Thus, this study aimed to identify the characteristics of weather app users and their motivations for checking mobile weather apps. Using substantial literature to build a concourse of opinions about weather apps (Armstrong & Towery, 2021; Eachus & Keim, 2019; Hoang, 2015; Liu, et al., 2020), subjects participated in a Q sort, a quantitative and qualitative method that reveals the subjectivity of audiences (Brown, 1993; Stephenson, 1995). Findings indicate that managing expectations, fulfilling practical needs, and satisfying personal concerns were strong motivators for using a weather app. Other weather app user qualities included being optimistic, controlling, reasonable, or private. Practical implications for weather communicators, as well as for app developers are also discussed.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications; Communications
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hallows, Danielle Wardinsky, "An Eye to the Sky: Describing Characteristics of Weather App Users Through Q Method" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 9441.
weather, mobile weather applications, users, Q method, characteristics, motivations