Makenzie Krocak


Behavioral Insights Unit (BIU)

Job Title:Social Science Team Lead


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Kenzie is the Social Science Team Lead for the Behavioral Insights Unit in WRDD. Her research broadly focuses on understanding how people use weather information to make decisions, including how partners and members of the public receive, understand, and respond to hazardous weather forecasts. Prior to joining NSSL in 2023, Kenzie was a Research Scientist with the OU Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis and CIWRO/NWS Storm Prediction Center.

Degree (Ph.D, M.S, B.A, etc.) Major Subject University or College Name Year (YYYY) (optional)
Ph.D. Meteorology University of Oklahoma 2020
M.S. Meteorology University of Oklahoma 2017
B.S. Meteorology Iowa State University 2015
Research Interests
  • Decision making under uncertainty
  • Risk perceptions
  • Probabilistic communication
  • Forecast evaluation
  • Severe weather climatology
Professional Activities
  • Subject Matter Editor, BAMS
  • Capstone/Ecosystem mentor, OU School of Meteorology
Selected Publications

Krocak, M. J, J. T. Ripberger, S. Ernst, C. L. Silva, H. C. Jenkins-Smith, and A. Bitterman, 2023: Public information priorities across weather hazards and timescales, Bull. Amer. Met. Soc.,

Bitterman, A., M. J. Krocak, J. T. Ripberger, S. Ernst, J. E. Trujillo-Falcón, A. Gaviria Pabón, C. Silva, and H. Jenkins-Smith: Assessing public interpretation of original and linguist-suggested SPC Risk Categories in Spanish, Wea. Forecasting,

Krocak, M. J, J. T. Ripberger, S. Ernst, C. L. Silva, and H. C. Jenkins-Smith, 2021: Exploring the differences in SPC convective outlook interpretation using categorical and numeric information, Wea. Foreecasting.

Rosen, Z., M. J. Krocak, J. T. Ripberger, R. Cross, E. Lenhardt, C. L. Silva, and H. C. Jenkins-Smith, 2021: Communicating probability information in hurricane forecasts: Assessing statements that forecasters use on social media and implications for public assessments of reliability. J. Operational Meteor, 9, 7, 89-101,

Krocak, M. J., M. D. Flournoy, and H. E. Brooks, 2021: Examining sub-daily tornado warning performance and associated environmental characteristics. Wea. Forecasting.

Krocak, M. J., J. N. Allan, J. T. Ripberger, C. L. Silva, and H. C. Jenkins-Smith, 2021: An analysis of tornado warning reception and response across time: leveraging respondent's confidence and a nocturnal tornado climatology. Wea. Forecasting.

Lenhardt, E. D., R. N. Cross, M. J. Krocak, J. T. Ripberger, S. R. Ernst, C. L. Silva, and H. C. Jenkins-Smith, 2020: How Likely is That Chance of Thunderstorms? A Study of How National Weather Service Forecast Offices Use Words of Estimative Probability and What They Mean to the Public. J. Operational Meteorology, 8, 64–78,

Ripberger, J. T., C. L. Silva, H. C. Jenkins-Smith, J. Allan, M. J. Krocak, W. Wehde, and S. Ernst, 2020: Exploring Community Differences in Tornado Warning Reception, Comprehension, and Response Across the United States. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc. 101, 6, 863–880,

Krocak, M. J., J. T. Ripberger, C. L. Silva, and H. C. Jenkins-Smith, 2019: The Impact of Hours of Advance Notice on Protective Action in Response to Tornadoes. Wea. Climate Soc., 11, 881–888,

Krocak, M. J. and H. E. Brooks, 2018: Climatological Estimates of Hourly Tornado Probability for the United States. Wea. Forecasting, 33, 59–69,