CAP Event Terms List
The UK Met Office suggests that:
1. Terms really ought to be part of a formal taxonomy, rather than a single controlled list of terms. The taxonomy would clarify the broader/narrower aspects.
2. Many domains have used single hierarchy controlled lists for use within their domain, and cross-domain use, as in CAP, has not really been considered.
3. In practice, there may be different authoritative owners for what appear to be the same specific terms. Meteorology and aviation have this.
4. Best practice in meteorology is to alert for the impact, rather than a specific ‘observable’ or term. For example, 25mm of rain in one hour may have no significant effect in a dry region, but if there has already been significant rain, and rivers, reservoirs, etc., are close to overflowing, the impact could be life critical.
5. The impact may be significantly different for different end user communities. E.g. a Severe Thunderstorm may be one with lots of lightning for people re-fuelling aircraft, whereas for an horticulturalist, it is one with big hailstones that would require them to move their workers out of their glass greenhouses for the duration, and the risk from the lightning is negligible.
Any effort to develop an international "event terms list" would be better spent establishing mechanism to link to existing authoritative vocabularies, and the existing vocabularies consider exposing their terms in the context of ontologies, RDF and Linked Data, so that extra, explanatory information can be exposed and processed if required.