Local Met Downplaying Tornado Danger

Jul 29, 2004
New Jersey/Iowa
So I'm watching one of the local mets on TV in the DC metro area today and he is tracking the potentially tornadic storms near the metro area and he goes on to tell people not to worry too much because these storms usually only produce weak F0 or F1 tornadoes that dont do that much damage. It's kind of scary that instead of telling people to be wary of any tornado, no matter the size or intensity, he prefaces his statement by telling the viewers that the tornadoes are unlikely to be really dangerous and wont really compare to the La Plata tornado.
I think the guy is just keeping it real. He might want to say that they can still be dangerous, but any tornadoes really shouldn't be that bad.
Even if it wasn't... Tornadogenesis not a well understood process, as I'm sure most of us know. There have been very strong tornadoes in environments that looked marginal, and there have been no tornadoes with supercells in environments that looked "perfect". That observation alone signifies that we don't entirely understand how tornadoes form. To say that a storm with strong rotation is probably not a big deal since it'd only have a weak tornado is ridiculous.
I agree with all the points that Jeff made...

IMO That met was pretty much sticking his foot in his mouth by telling the thousands of viewers that "it wasn't likely to be too dangerous". Now, how were he to feel if there was a tornado on the ground doing significant/violent damage at the moment he was saying that?

Treat all tornadoes the same when your a person whom is telling the public what to do.
Treat all tornadoes the same when your a person whom is telling the public what to do.

Exactly. As we learned with the "underpass theory" fiasco, once a meteorological fallacy is embedded in the mindset of the public it is extremely difficult to dislodge.
Tuned back in later and another met on the same channel was stressing how dangerous any tornado can be and that people should immediately seek cover when a tornado warning is issued. The average TV viewer should not be getting mixed signals like that.
Oh well, at least they corrected themselves.