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Forecasting Skill going downhill ???

Billy Griffin

Just curious for discussion... after seeing the big "screw up" today on OUN's 10:37am forecast discussion calling for Armageddon, how do the rest of you feel on SPC's and Norman's seemingly "lack of" ability to forecast this year.

Yeah, in their defense, I do understand weather is no "exact" science, and it never will be perfect, but the episode that happened earlier was uncalled for. If you're not aware of what happened and the wording issued earlier, go to the TARGET thread and read on 6/10 "talk".

Just in my opinion, that was very unprofessional and of poor taste. To emphasize the "end of the world" is just stupid.

To me, it appears our forecasters are "crying wolf" a great deal this year. No excuse to me, they've got the tools to forecast this stuff correctly... that HIGH RISK day on Sat... NEVER should have been HIGH... Moderate only. They have the tools for soundings, obs, etc. - I think they're jumping the gun way too much and you know what... THE PUBLIC ARE THE ONES WHO WILL SUFFER. It's human nature to become unattentive when it keeps turning up false positives.

For example... how often do we worry about our Homeland Security and whether it's orange or yellow? Does anyone know what it is today? Doubt it (don't cheat).

We grow complacent. That's just human nature. But to contribute to it by making rediculous forecasts... I just don't understand.

Any thoughts? And please, please, please oh please, don't take this as an insult to those of you who have a much deeper meteorology education and background than I. I'm only trying to say that perhaps, they should exercise more caution before trying to create a panic. For example, for those of you in OKC area, look at how the media covers weather now. It's almost got to the point where it's too much. Come on, admit it.
 
Billy, as for today, AFDs change as forecasters change and focuses change. I wouldn't worry about it...

As for SAT, where do you get that it didn't require a HIGH risk? Almost everything that day supported a widespread tornado outbreak, although I guess those few factors that didn't, surpressed the rest of the threat... But I don't know why you would say that...
 
I enjoy the hardcore coverage of the OKC metropolitan area media. Sometimes they blow it out of proportion and such, but at least they cover it, i was in St. Louis once and there were warnings all over the area, and not even close to the coverage as OKC..etc...some may find this good, some may not. Anyways, I just put myself in their situation...if a high risk threat appear possible on a certain day and you don't mention any of it in your forcast - say on that day of risk, a major outbreak occurs and you left the public uninformed...I think forecasters that often "expect the worse" are some of the best. I certainly would not want to say its going to be sunny and no storms, and then see three supercells blow up on the radar. Just because there is a slim chance, doesn't mean there is no chance.

But whatever, I love storms and stuff like all of you here, so I too, often "hope for the worst" (in weather sense).
 
Originally posted by Billy Griffin
Just curious for discussion... after seeing the big \"screw up\" today on OUN's 10:37am forecast discussion calling for Armageddon, how do the rest of you feel on SPC's and Norman's seemingly \"lack of\" ability to forecast this year.

Yeah, in their defense, I do understand weather is no \"exact\" science, and it never will be perfect, but the episode that happened earlier was uncalled for. If you're not aware of what happened and the wording issued earlier, go to the TARGET thread and read on 6/10 \"talk\".

Just in my opinion, that was very unprofessional and of poor taste. To emphasize the \"end of the world\" is just stupid.

To me, it appears our forecasters are \"crying wolf\" a great deal this year. No excuse to me, they've got the tools to forecast this stuff correctly... that HIGH RISK day on Sat... NEVER should have been HIGH... Moderate only. They have the tools for soundings, obs, etc. - I think they're jumping the gun way too much and you know what... THE PUBLIC ARE THE ONES WHO WILL SUFFER. It's human nature to become unattentive when it keeps turning up false positives.

For example... how often do we worry about our Homeland Security and whether it's orange or yellow? Does anyone know what it is today? Doubt it (don't cheat).

We grow complacent. That's just human nature. But to contribute to it by making rediculous forecasts... I just don't understand.

Any thoughts? And please, please, please oh please, don't take this as an insult to those of you who have a much deeper meteorology education and background than I. I'm only trying to say that perhaps, they should exercise more caution before trying to create a panic. For example, for those of you in OKC area, look at how the media covers weather now. It's almost got to the point where it's too much. Come on, admit it.

First off, AFDs are intented for other WFOs and meteorologically-minded folks -- they are NOT intended for the general public. Additionally, just because a pm AFD from OUN DOESN'T mention a huge event doesn't mean forecast thinking has changed that much. Some AFDs are very detailed and in-depth (many long paragraphcs), while others are simple and general (one short paragraph). I caution reading into the details of AFDs too much, as each forecaster writes things his/her own way. IMO, the best (more detailed) AFDs from OUN come from Miller and James.

Convective forecasting is anything but perfect. Models bust, forecasters bust -- nobody forecasts perfectly. There are days in which I have disagreed with particular forecasts (e.g. SPC forecasts), but that's the deal with forecasting -- it IS subjective (interpretation of models, weighing of model output, utilization of observations to verify validity of models, pattern recognition, etc). SPC forecasters (particularly on significant severe weather days) spend a LOT of time preparing forecasts, so I certainly respect their forecasts (though that doesn't mean that my forecasts always align with theirs). If I were much better I'd have bagged every signficant tornado in the plains so far this year...

Forecasts (NWS, SPC, etc) are people too; as such, they can't always be 100% objective. I don't fault some forecasts for seeming to be 'jumping the gun' or whatnot. Just go back to Feb/March threads on here and read about how excited folks get about 1000-1500 CAPE...

Regarding the comment of "the public are the one who will suffer" -- believe me, the SPC forecasters know this as well as anyone. To think that SPC and NWS forecasters and mets don't care about false alarms is ludicris. But, they shouldn't be expected to answer to you, me, or anyone other than those who deal with official verifications. If so, I'll ask you to justify every time one of your forecasts busts.

While the particular am AFD from OUN was strongly-worded, nowhere in there did it say the "end of the world" was coming or that this was armageddon. And, contrary to the title of your thread, severe convective forecasting has greatly improved in the past couple of decades (as I'm sure you are aware). I don' thtink there have been any more 'busts' this year than in previous years.
 
Why does every post always turn into a debate, then the next thing, an argument? Can't we all just love one another> LOL :D

Okay, first off... why I (just me personally) do not think Saturday warranted a HIGH was simply because I could see the CAP was basically gone. I just felt everything was going to go up all at once, which it basically did. Sure, winds and instability were right, but I had a feeling it was going to be a big "cluster" or MCS thing. Further south, where I should have stayed to begin with, it was better capped but probably still didn't warrant a "high" because of the scattered nature.

I'm only going on the meteorological definition of HIGH and just in my thinking, even though we did have a few good tornadoes, it wasn't a widespread outbreak. Not a 5/3/99, Not a 5/4, etc. etc. - that's all I'm trying to say. Nothing meant to offend anyone, nothing meant to get anyone mad, just me thinking out loud.

As far as media coverage of weather, yes... I do believe that coverage is done and done well. Again, I'm just saying that things could, perhaps, be toned down a little.

We must remember that "most" of the public do not share our enthusiasm for severe weather. When we have AFDs going out calling for the Rapture, I'm afraid it just creates more panic. I know, here in the office for example, the first thing people did after that discussion was out was to come running down to my office and asking how bad it really was going to be. One lady even commented on how she might leave Oklahoma for the weekend. Face it, it does sound silly, but some folks are just terrified of weather. Yet again, I'm only saying that it did seem a little (a lot) inappropriate to use wording like that so far out.

Yes, warn the public, make them aware and diligent... but don't scare them to death and don't call for "women and children first" until all the facts are there. That's all I'm trying to say folks.

One more thing, not picking at you Nick, but honest... how many MAJOR severe weather reports came out of Saturday? I lost count, but in comparison to other high risk days that have verified, looks pretty slim.
I know, sounds like "Monday morning quarterback forecasting", but I did honestly see this a bit over-forecast as some others did too.

Finally folks, I just wanted to start a discussion, not a war. :wink:
 
Here is a part of the AFD, that Billy was talking about:
REGARDING LATE WEEK...HAVE A VERY STRONG FEELING THAT SOMETHING BIG IS BREWING. LOOKING AT PROGGED LONGWAVE PATTERN - WITHOUT GETTING BOGGED DOWN IN DETAILS - THE SETUP LOOKS ABOUT AS POTENT FOR WIDESPREAD/SIGNIFICANT SEVERE WX IN THE CENTRAL U.S. AS THIS FORECASTER HAS SEEN IN NEARLY 25 YEARS OF OPERATIONAL EXPERIENCE.

SCREAMING MESSAGE IS THAT POTENTIAL WILL EXIST FOR 1 OR MORE SIGNIFICANT CENTRAL-U.S. SEVERE WX OUTBREAKS...BEGINNING AS EARLY AS THU BUT MORE LIKELY IN THE FRI-SAT-SUN PERIOD. PLAN TO HIT THIS HARD IN THE NOON HWO.
Mike
 
Caviat to the last comment Jeff... a lot of the public do read the forecast discussion. Yes, I know it's for more of a meteorological reading and interpretation, but it's also right there on their webpage, so folks do read it.

Case in point, a lot of folks here at the Postal center read it and then I'm inundated with questions on how bad the weather's going to get.
See how it states "screaming message"... it's words like that which do create quite an emphasis, if not panic, in a lot of people and then it gets the local media around here all in a "tither".

It wasn't five minutes past that discussion appearing until I get bombarded with questions from other staff here, plus my phone rings from the TV station, and I hear, quote: "get ready for tragic stuff this weekend." (name withheld)

Shouldn't we calm down and say, "whoa... looks like we'd better be ready for some potential severe weather this weekend?"

Anyway, interesting discussions. Perhaps I should rename the title though. What I really meant was instead of skill going downhill is that I think we're pressing the red button a little too quickly on occasion.

In other words, creating panic is not a good thing. To me, if we spent more focus on educating, rather than alarming, that's a good approach.
 
Gary Lezak (the NBC meteorologist in KC) has chimed in on the OUN comments.
http://blogs.scripps.com/kshb/weather/


IMO I believe the comments were a little pre-mature. If this person ends up being correct then I will eat my words but come on, 4 and 5 days out and implying as good as or better set up than May 3, 1999. I totally respect the job those guys and gals do and realize they are so much more educated in the science of weather than I am but look at what one comment can do. My question is why would a trained professional with obviously at least 25 years experience say that in a public setting? Would they not know the implications of their actions? It just seemed a little strange to see that excited of wordage so far out from an event.
 
One thing I think you guys are missing though that sticks in my mind. The forecaster has 25 YEARS of experience forecasting. I would have to think you log a lot of pattern recognition in that period of time.

Whether or not he should have said it publicly this far out or not remains to be seen when the event gets here. But when ANYONE with 25 years of experience says something like that about something in their profession, I am darn sure going to perk up my ears and pay attention.

Who posts on StormTrack with that much experience forecasting storms?

Again, whether he's right or not will remain to be seen, but he obviously saw some sort of pattern emerging that alarmed him even with all of his years of seasoning.
 
All I can say is that "if" he was so right... WHY DID THEY TOTALLY CHANGE THE DISCUSSION JUST A FEW HOURS LATER ???

Not trying to continue or get a heated argument started, and sure, in his/her statement it basically says they have 25+ years forecasting experience.

Totally uncalled for this far in advance. Now, come Thursday if things start shaping up, then I'd say mention that in the HWO... alert the public that severe weather is likely over the weekend, and do everything you can to emphasize the importance of that.

When I read wording like that, and quote: 25 years !!! - makes me think we should all prepare for a tri-state tornado. That kind of outbreak would be relative to the Ohio Valley outbreak in 1974... let's see, that's about 25 years ago (or so), correct?

I mean, come on, how can you predict or even "assume" something like that this far in advance ????
 
Chill dude. Take your Xanax. Id rather be overly prepared for the chance of severe weather and it not happen then to be unprepared for it and it does ANY day. Most people are not chasers...... They need all the preparedness they can get.
 
Yeah, and don't get me wrong... sure would like to see something like that, I'll admit it. LET'S JUST KEEP ALL THE TORNADOES IN OPEN COUNTRY = EMPHASIS !!

I'm just saying that kind of outbreak, a "most potent in over 25 years" means something like 4/3-4/4, 1974, or 4/11, 1965 !!!!!

IF he was going to use strong wording... how 'bout, "current models are indicating a potent weather system capable of producing significant severe weather over the weekend." "All interests should stay informed on the latest HWOs and AFDs throughout the central US on this potentially significant severe weather weekend." ??????????

I guess I'm having a problem with the guy saying 25+ years. That takes us back past some rather major tornado outbreaks, some of even recent decades. Anyone remember 4/23/1991 - Andover, KS? How 'bout '95 and the Pampa / TX panhandle stuff? Some of those days are even historic or eventful, but saying "over 25 years" just beats all.

Sure, he may see something amazing, but let the models and forecasts come into better perspective BEFORE saying something like that.

PS: took the Xanax. :wink:
You guys are taking this all wrong. I'm not mad. I just hate to see the public getting alarmed like this way too soon... because, if it doesn't happen, you're wrong. What'll happen is most will say "here we go again", and unfortunately the next time it does verify, then we'll hear all these folks claim they "had no warning".

Now, I'm done with this thread. Everyone have a great evening.
 
All things considered, it is rather strange to see that sort of content in a discussion attached to a morning update. All the more strange is that neither the 12Z GFS or ECMWF suggest the sky is falling, continued active pattern aside. Given the timing of the update, I assume the forecaster had just finished processing those particular model solutions.

So, yeah, it is kind of weird.
 
First, remember what Jeff said...AFDs are written by different people...they don't have to have continuity.

Next, 25 years only takes us to 1980...so the outbreaks mentioned above are out.

Next, the models have been in perspective and consistent (FINALLY!)...last week I noticed the GFS setting the situation up with its forecasts for today and tomorrow. A friend of mine has been trying to get his dad to come down so he could chase because of how persistant the GFS has been. I haven't paid much attention to the GFS runs since last week (not for late this week anyways), but what it has progged for tomorrow is what it had progged for tomorrow nearly a week ago. It's not the exact same (I think the UA speeds are a little slower), but it's similar enough for my eyebrows to raise a little. Further, looking at the handling the GFS has of the shortwave, it's movement seems similar to May 4, 2003...real quick through the Plains and towards to the NE over a good, moist surface, IMO (but that's for the forecast thread).

Everyone once in awhile uses strong language in their forecasts, amatuer and professional alike (see this board's forecast threads on certain days for example).
 
Billy, I have to ask...

IF he turns out to be right and this turns out to be the mother-of-all-outbreaks......

Are you going to be just as vehement about how he was right about that outbreak, that far in advance?
 
I have to agree with Billy to a point. I only made it out a few
times this year. The SPC forecasting and risk issuance was below
par. I think the SPC's biggest problem is there is never an accounting
for what happens. I've always thought there should be a "day after"
discussion noting why a watch or risk area busted.

Mike
 
hmmm

Not to be critical, but I always thought there were policies in place to make case studies out of strongly failed forecasts. I know on April 20, 2004, with the Mini-Sup surprise outbreak there were many case studies presented... I cant even imagine that SPC wouldn't have a meeting with forecasters and senior forecasters and at least a written log of some sort categorizing what the mets were thinking and what actually transpired. I would be VERY surprised if there was not some sort of accountability system in place.... Mike, perhaps you are aware of something I don't know being I have no clue of the bearaucracy [sic] within the Storm Prediction Center.

I have to agree with Billy to a point. I only made it out a few
times this year. The SPC forecasting and risk issuance was below
par. I think the SPC's biggest problem is there is never an accounting
for what happens. I've always thought there should be a \"day after\"
discussion noting why a watch or risk area busted.
 
Thanks guys, glad for understanding I was only stating my feeling.
Nothing critical was ever meant, only suggest SPC / OUN, etc. etc. use better scrutiny in their wording before creating panic.
 
Weather Synopsis...A dry line moving east into the central TX panhandle may kick off isolated thunderstorms as it approaches western sections of Oklahoma this evening. Although widespread thunderstorms are not expected, any storms that form will be capable of producing large hail and damaging winds. Severe weather potential will increase each day through the weekend, and there is a possibility of significant and/or widespread severe thunderstorms between Friday and Sunday.

This is the latest OUN public discussion / forecast. Wouldn't you agree this is more on the order than saying something like what was distributed earlier today? Just my 2 cents.
 
You know... it's funny. I saw the GFS model run last night and the first thing i thought was tornado outbreak. Large negatively tilted trough.... ample moisture, solid dryline, and strong flow from the sfc up to 300mb. Best looking setup IMHO I have seen this year (if it pans out).

So I see the OUN discussion and it really didn't surprise me. Based off pattern recognition... it does look like great potential exists for some seriously good setups within the next week.


Now a few specific comments/questions I have for the thread author:

how do the rest of you feel on SPC's and Norman's seemingly \"lack of\" ability to forecast this year

It's been a tough year. Anyone can forecast outbreak events... Andover and the events last year were seen days in advance. Have we even had any tornado outbreaks this year?


that HIGH RISK day on Sat... NEVER should have been HIGH... Moderate only. They have the tools for soundings, obs, etc. - I think they're jumping the gun way too much and you know what... THE PUBLIC ARE THE ONES WHO WILL SUFFER.

Only one model I know of forecasted the massive breakout of precip along the dryline (WRF). If we had an ounce bit more of cap... I think you wouldn't be commenting like this. Even with the 18z soundings, I didn't think the storms would be that widespread.

Second of all... it doesn't really matter if SPC goes high/mdt... because outside of chasers, EMs, and mets... few of the public know about the risks. Public do realize when watches bust, however.

I'm only trying to say that perhaps, they should exercise more caution before trying to create a panic. For example, for those of you in OKC area, look at how the media covers weather now.

SPC/NWS aren't going to cause a panic, but I agree with you on the news media.

And please, please, please oh please, don't take this as an insult to those of you who have a much deeper meteorology education and background than I.
Not taking it as an insult.... just responding.

Why does every post always turn into a debate, then the next thing, an argument? Can't we all just love one another> LOL
No... not when we disagree ;)

but I had a feeling it was going to be a big \"cluster\"
*sigh*
but probably still didn't warrant a \"high\" because of the scattered nature.

Uh... do you know what scattered tornadic supercells do? They verify a high risk. Second of all... it is a risk... not a guarenteed thing.

When we have AFDs going out calling for the Rapture, I'm afraid it just creates more panic. I know, here in the office for example, the first thing people did after that discussion was out was to come running down to my office and asking how bad it really was going to be.

This surprises me.... 99% of the people I know not involved with meteorology have no clue what an AFD is or even where their closest NWS office is located. And Oklahomans running from tornadoes? Wow.

All I can say is that \"if\" he was so right... WHY DID THEY TOTALLY CHANGE THE DISCUSSION JUST A FEW HOURS LATER ???

Maybe because someone else wrote it and that the AFD is also open to opinions from the forecaster?

Totally uncalled for this far in advance. Now, come Thursday if things start shaping up, then I'd say mention that in the HWO... alert the public that severe weather is likely over the weekend, and do everything you can to emphasize the importance of that.

That's right lets.. start mentioning a threat for severe weather only a day or two in advance...

I mean, come on, how can you predict or even \"assume\" something like that this far in advance ????
Digging your self into a hole buddy. Many outbreaks are forecasted well in advance quite well because of the general synoptic pattern.
*Note this is not intended as an insult! I simply disagree with many of Billy's points.*
 
From what I gather... the main point Billy was trying to make was that the AFD scared the public. My disagreement is that the majority of the public I know have no clue what is going on... up till a watch box comes out or they hear something on the news the day of or day before. Billy mentioned he works at the postal facility, so it is understandable that many of the carriers would be more in the savvy of the NWS. That said, there should be an awareness that the AFD is simply a look into the forecasters mind and they should be paying more attention to the HWO.

Aaron
 
Originally posted by Billy Griffin
Weather Synopsis...A dry line moving east into the central TX panhandle may kick off isolated thunderstorms as it approaches western sections of Oklahoma this evening. Although widespread thunderstorms are not expected, any storms that form will be capable of producing large hail and damaging winds. Severe weather potential will increase each day through the weekend, and there is a possibility of significant and/or widespread severe thunderstorms between Friday and Sunday.

This is the latest OUN public discussion / forecast. Wouldn't you agree this is more on the order than saying something like what was distributed earlier today? Just my 2 cents.

And this is the HWO issued earlier:

THUNDERSTORM OUTLOOK...
THUNDERSTORM CHANCES...AND THE POTENTIAL FOR SEVERE WEATHER...WILL
INCREASE EACH DAY FROM WEDNESDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND. CURRENT
FORECASTS INDICATE THAT THE GENERAL WEATHER PATTERN MAY SUPPORT THE
POTENTIAL FOR WIDESPREAD OR SIGNIFICANT SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS OVER
OKLAHOMA AND NORTH TEXAS LATE THIS WEEK...PERHAPS AS EARLY AS
THURSDAY OR FRIDAY BUT MORE LIKELY ON SATURDAY OR SUNDAY. THERE ARE
TOO MANY UNCERTAINTIES AT THIS TIME TO SAY WHICH DAY AND WHICH PARTS
OF THE AREA WILL HAVE THE GREATEST RISK. EMERGENCY MANAGERS AND
STORM SPOTTER GROUPS...AS WELL AS ALL INDIVIDUALS AND AGENCIES WITH
PLANS THAT WOULD BE AFFECTED MOST BY SEVERE WEATHER THIS WEEKEND...
ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST WEATHER
INFORMATION THIS WEEK...AND TO BE PREPARED FOR AN INCREASING SEVERE
WEATHER POTENTIAL EACH DAY THROUGH SUNDAY.

Clearly, they're still quite interested in this setup. I mean, look -- I LIKE it when the old hats chime in and give us a heads up. This guy has been doing this for a quarter century. If he sees something coming down the pipe that isn't immediately apparent in the models, by all means, I want to hear about it. If we bitch about this kind of stuff, the forecasters are just going to keep their mouths shut in the public discussion when their spidersense tingles.
 
Please folks, listen to me... please?

I "AM NOT" in disagreement for the forecaster doing his/her best in trying to get the public/media/chaser/spotter/Emergency Manager, whoever's attention by making a forecast.

THE ONLY THING I WAS CRITICAL OF IS HIM USING THE WORDS, QUOTE: "most potent in over 25 years". That's all I'm saying.

Yeah, 25 yrs only takes us back to '80, sorry my math was never a strong point. :D

That's all I'm saying... why shouldn't it have read as I posted earlier, or as the forecast on the enhanced web page of OUN says now... basically, "significant severe weather possible."

I not only received phone calls from the TV station I chase for, but also from friends all over Oklahoma who had also read the discussion. I thiink we're assuming no one reads that, but many of the folks I know play around with the internet and navigate through their page.

After reading that, plus the other part of his comment about the "screaming" thing, just (to me) put quite a bit of worry into those that I spoke to. Also, I just watched the evening news and one local forecaster commented "we could see a great deal of devastation over the weekend." Gees... I just think that's awful strong wording and what about these poor folks who may have lost a loved one in recent weather-related disasters? Even though '99 has been six years now, it still bears an ugly scar for the folks in Moore and OKC.

I have a co-worker and close friend who lost his son that day. Since '99, he is terrified of storms and reads ALL discussions. Before all of you keep on bashing me, put yourself in his shoes and ask yourself how you'd feel or what would be on your mind when you read that something even worse than that could occur this weekend ??? Folks, I didn't mention this earlier, but this guy came to me asking what was going to happen, then he broke down later today and was CRYING in remembering that day and losing his son !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How do you think that makes me feel and how do you explain the rationale behind the wording?

I hope this clarifies why I was aggravated initially at the discussion, it's not the fact of the warning. To be honest, the more timely warning, the better. But for the 15th time, all I'm saying is the "WORDING" should (IMO) have been done differently. And now, the local media, at least the station I was watching at six, is going crazy over this.

I deeply apologize for making anyone mad, angry, upset, offended, whatever... and if you want to talk with me, a lot of you are here in Norman and I'd be glad to actually meet you guys.

My intentions were not to come across as putting down the upcoming forecast, or even downplay the potential... it's only the wording and being tactful. And believe it or not folks, a lot of people DO read just about everything on the web. If it's there, someone can read it, and that's exactly what happened today. Even the Kansas City folks picked up on it, and I just talked to a former chase partner living in NYC and even they have read it.

Some of you guys criticise every little thing about a posting. I simply asked for your thoughts. I didn't anticipate your insults or PMs to me. It's like I'm making a comment directly at chasers. Hell, I'm a chaser myself guys and ladies. I hope now you understand why I said what I did and hey, I still stand behind my feelings. If you would have been there and had seen a 44 year old man break down in tears and show me a photo of his 2 year old dead son, you would have lost it too !!!
 

All I can say is that \"if\" he was so right... WHY DID THEY TOTALLY CHANGE THE DISCUSSION JUST A FEW HOURS LATER ???

As previous posters have already pointed out, it was likely a different forecaster authoring the later AFD. Depending on current weather and other deadlines, software crashes, etc... the amount of time one has to work on an AFD is highly variable and the content therefore varies as well. The "long term/public" day shift forecaster putting out the the 2:50pm AFD quite likely did not have as much time as the earlier "update" AFD (the so-called "Doomsday AFD") author had or simply chose not to highlight or repeat what was already said. Every forecaster has their own style to writing AFDs. Some put more emphasis in them than others. They can be as short as three sentences... or as long as three pages.

While I'd tend to think that perhaps the wording was a bit much for this far out... I'll digress since the forecaster in question apparently has over 25 years+ experience, and likely has seen and forgotten far more weather than I, a mere "puppy" has ever experienced... clearly this also applies to students and quite likely even some sheltered PhDs out there!

This forecaster apparently sees a pattern evolving that is ringing a well-tuned alarm bell in his own mind, and he chose to highlight this in their AFD and HWO. Assuming that this person is not just prone to crying wolf with every other model run (I simply don't know as I don't follow OUN's AFDs regularly), then I give the forecaster credit for not simply doing the old "wait and see and bump the POPs up another 10%." It's one thing to cry wolf, and another to go out on a limb and possibly add some value to a forecast over what model guidance suggests.

I am desperately trying to bite my tongue on this one. I'll say this though: whether I agree with this forecaster's enhanced wording or not, I hope he absolutely nails the forecast!
 
Originally posted by Billy Griffin
Please folks, listen to me... please?

I think that they are -- you're just not listening to them. Your original beef, that forecasting skill is sucking this year and that forecasters are "hypeing things" makes very little sense and a few people have tried to point that out to you. I mean, look -- that's what the forecaster thought. FDs are for the forecaster to lay out their thoughts. If the media wants to work itself up into a froth over it, well, that's their choice.

I \"AM NOT\" in disagreement for the forecaster doing his/her best in trying to get the public/media/chaser/spotter/Emergency Manager, whoever's attention by making a forecast.

THE ONLY THING I WAS CRITICAL OF IS HIM USING THE WORDS, QUOTE: \"most potent in over 25 years\". That's all I'm saying.

Yeah, but why? That's the big question here. The forecaster clearly is trying to get a message out to weather/EMS/media types by mentioning that he has a lot of experience and that in all of his experience, this is the worst he's seen it this far out. It's not like he held a live press conference and hid under the podium while crying, he just gave chasers, EMTs, and media types a heads up that something big -- bigger than he's ever seen -- might be coming down the pipe. What they do with that info is up to them. Of course in Oklahoma, you can't hardly mutter the word "tornado" in a forecast without having a whole newsroom full of people fall to the floor in exctasy.

I not only received phone calls from the TV station I chase for, but also from friends all over Oklahoma who had also read the discussion. I thiink we're assuming no one reads that, but many of the folks I know play around with the internet and navigate through their page.

Yeah, so? Now they're clued in about something big maybe happening this weekend. Doesn't sound too terrible to me. If they do something rash and sell all of their worldy posessions and cower in a bunker expecting the rapture, well, that's hardly the forecaster's fault.

After reading that, plus the other part of his comment about the \"screaming\" thing, just (to me) put quite a bit of worry into those that I spoke to. Also, I just watched the evening news and one local forecaster commented \"we could see a great deal of devastation over the weekend.\" Gees... I just think that's awful strong wording and what about these poor folks who may have lost a loved one in recent weather-related disasters? Even though '99 has been six years now, it still bears an ugly scar for the folks in Moore and OKC.

You make it seem like local television forecasters crawl off the street, comb their hair, listen to the NWS FD, and begin mumbling into the camera. I'm sure that most TV mets in Oklahoma actually do their own forecasts. If they're talking devestation, well, it might be sweeps week, or they might just be seeing the same stuff as Mr. NWS Forecaster. Either way, it's not like there is some rule that TV mets have to regurigitate whatever the HWO or the FD says for the day... they do their own forecasts, and if they blow them, it's on them, not the NWS.

I have a co-worker and close friend who lost his son that day. Since '99, he is terrified of storms and reads ALL discussions. Before all of you keep on bashing me, put yourself in his shoes and ask yourself how you'd feel or what would be on your mind when you read that something even worse than that could occur this weekend ??? Folks, I didn't mention this earlier, but this guy came to me asking what was going to happen, then he broke down later today and was CRYING in remembering that day and losing his son !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You've used up all the available exclaimation points for this thread, but I ask again: how is that the NWS forecaster's fault? I mean, for example, I'm not a big fan of lightning. I have to tackle the fear every time I get out of the car on a chase. That doesn't mean that the SPC should stop drawing the thunder line. If your friend is severe weather phobic, then perhaps Oklahoma isn't the best place for him or her to live. I, for one, however, would like to know if the local Ahab at the NWS smells a white whale.

I hope this clarifies why I was aggravated initially at the discussion, it's not the fact of the warning. To be honest, the more timely warning, the better. But for the 15th time, all I'm saying is the \"WORDING\" should (IMO) have been done differently. And now, the local media, at least the station I was watching at six, is going crazy over this.

The media will do what the media will do. Hell, they go crazy over run-away brides these days. The NWS just keeps cranking out good info. It's not their problem.

I deeply apologize for making anyone mad, angry, upset, offended, whatever... and if you want to talk with me, a lot of you are here in Norman and I'd be glad to actually meet you guys.

Nah, it's cool -- I doubt anyone here is actually upset with you, except for maybe the NWS forecaster who wrote that report, if he ends up reading this thread (and they do visit this site, BTW.) I like how pretty much everyone stays civil on Stormtrack, compared to most of the internet. :) Noone here is anonymous, and we usually end up meeting each other, sooner or later.

My intentions were not to come across as putting down the upcoming forecast, or even downplay the potential... it's only the wording and being tactful.

Just a heads up then... you might want to change the Topic you picked for this thread. It doesn't exactly convey the message you're indicating above.

Anyhow, though we disagree on this one, I'd still buy ya a beer if I ran into out on the plains. Good luck chasing this weekend, Armageddeon or not. :wink:
 
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