Climate change is both a physical and social phenomenon in which individual understandings are contextualized within broader considerations: individuals are not ‘blank slates’ receiving information about climate change, but that information is always and inevitably filtered through values and worldviews. Personal experience, local knowledge, and social-learning influence climate risk perception and vary substantially among countries and regions. Likewise, they differently affect individuals and social groups at the regional and local scale, among whom exposures, attitudes, and capacities to manage risks vary greatly. A climate storyline approach is hence well-suited to study human observations, compound climate risks, and inform and conceptualize human–water systems interactions. Narrative storylines are used as input drivers to climate models, to represent different development pathways, which are usually characterized and applied at national and sub-national scales. Storylines aim to provide new social scenarios that address local human cognition uncertainties and improve human behavior modelling and robustness when addressing decision-making processes. Climate risks and hazards understanding can be communicated by presenting the experiences or a sequence of events, facts, and observations that are plausible and potentially critical for the system under study. Methods guiding storytelling are usually focused on conducting interviews with stakeholders, carrying out collective workshops, developing appropriate focal questions, and iterating between model results and key stakeholders. Therefore, can other data collection tools be used to reduce uncertainty in physical aspects of climate change from individuals’ local experience and perception? This contribution presents a triple-loop survey to detail the core elements of farmers’ perception and behavior when addressing climate change risk. We collect first-hand observations from northern Italian farmers about how climate change affects their activity and how extreme events are conditioning their adaptation capacity. Emphasis is placed on understanding the driving factors (risk awareness, perceived impacts, and adaptation measures and barriers) involved in the physically self-consistent past events and the plausibility of those factors. Moreover, we want to test if these factors can provide relevant implications for appropriately modelling storylines in decision-making processes. Tentative results can be useful to discuss the methodological framework of storylines building and narratives modelling, and at which point surveys can be an alternative and complementary way of dealing with deep uncertainty within climate risk management and social scenarios modelling.