NOAA weather Radio

Here in the Chicago area i have never seen the radio advertised by ALL on air meteorologist. Of course this has everything to do with what happened a few hundered miles south of here Saturday night. i personally think its great that the people cities look to are telling the populations to buy these things

The NWS office in Chicago is also taking part
"A WEATHER RADIO NEXT TO YOUR BED WILL WAKE YOU UP IN THE EVENT OF A WEATHER WARNING. "

I also have never seen this towns meteorologists take a situation this seriously. You had tom skilling talking about the triple point and going indepth about shear. you had the guy on channel 5 saying the exact same thing. People were talking about the risk today unlike most other times when they are like , Severe storms, naw ive never seen a tornado.
Maybe the weather channel saw us complainning cause greg forbes is still there at 1230 at night. :eek:
 
I think that if one golden nugget can come from the tragic deaths that occurred a couple of nights ago, it's the nearly-perfect example of the benefits of a AHR (All-Hazards Radio, the new official name that replaced NOAA Weather Radio I guess). Folks complained that they couldn't hear the sirens, and, since almost everyone was sleeping, what better reason to push weather radios? Just make sure folks know how to program them, however, since there was I problem, IIRC, with the early generation weather radios that didn't have SAME technology -- folks would just turn them off since they didn't care about a flood watch issue for a county 80 miles away from them.
 
I think it's great that the media is giving some well needed publicity to the All Hazard Radios. IMO, I think every household should have them. They're not that expensive either (only about $40 max, if you buy the very basic models). Warning sirens are pretty useless nowadays, and are only meant to warn people outdoors. Newer homes are constructed with thicker insulation and walls, and the sound waves probably won't be loud enough to wake people up. Also, say for instance, someone sleeps with a fan or radio, they won't be able to hear anything outside. The weather radios are very loud when they go off, so they're definetly worth the cost, and they do indeed save lives.
 
I think that if one golden nugget can come from the tragic deaths that occurred a couple of nights ago, it's the nearly-perfect example of the benefits of a AHR (All-Hazards Radio, the new official name that replaced NOAA Weather Radio I guess). Folks complained that they couldn't hear the sirens, and, since almost everyone was sleeping, what better reason to push weather radios? Just make sure folks know how to program them, however, since there was I problem, IIRC, with the early generation weather radios that didn't have SAME technology -- folks would just turn them off since they didn't care about a flood watch issue for a county 80 miles away from them.

In my town they have the rotating sires which greatly limits your chance to hear the siren unless you live right under it. on a chilly night like tonight you have little or no chance of hearing it. the newer models are so much better, i used to have a radio shack one that stopped picking up the warnings i bought a midland radio and it works like a gem. my exact model was shown on WGNs telecast and was 30 bucks. Hopfully there wont be another evansville for a very long time. You dont buy a smoke detector beause you know your house will burn down, you buy it just incase that horrible day comes along and it just may save your life, same goes with a weather radio,
 
You dont buy a smoke detector beause you know your house will burn down, you buy it just incase that horrible day comes along and it just may save your life, same goes with a weather radio,

Which brings up an interesting possibility... What about asking/pressuring/whatever new home builders to include/integrate weather radios in new homes. Home building companies include smoke detectors and CO detectors in new homes -- why not include an AHR as well? Integrate it into the house somewhere, so it doesn't just look like a radio sitting on a table.
 
Which brings up an interesting possibility... What about asking/pressuring/whatever new home builders to include/integrate weather radios in new homes. Home building companies include smoke detectors and CO detectors in new homes -- why not include an AHR as well? Integrate it into the house somewhere, so it doesn't just look like a radio sitting on a table.

That would be a great idea, but I think most builders wouldn't go for it. The builders' response would probably be something like "if they want one, then they'll have to go out and purchase one on their own". I think an AHR is just as important as a CO or smoke detector and should come standard with a new home. IMO, It wouldn't be too costly for the builder to get the radio and mount it near the climate control unit or even somewhere in a bedroom or family room.
 
You dont buy a smoke detector beause you know your house will burn down, you buy it just incase that horrible day comes along and it just may save your life, same goes with a weather radio,

Which brings up an interesting possibility... What about asking/pressuring/whatever new home builders to include/integrate weather radios in new homes. Home building companies include smoke detectors and CO detectors in new homes -- why not include an AHR as well? Integrate it into the house somewhere, so it doesn't just look like a radio sitting on a table.

it would only work if there was a way to pick and choose the warnings you want to know about. it sucks being woken up at 330am for a amber alert 400 miles away.
 
You dont buy a smoke detector beause you know your house will burn down, you buy it just incase that horrible day comes along and it just may save your life, same goes with a weather radio,

Which brings up an interesting possibility... What about asking/pressuring/whatever new home builders to include/integrate weather radios in new homes. Home building companies include smoke detectors and CO detectors in new homes -- why not include an AHR as well? Integrate it into the house somewhere, so it doesn't just look like a radio sitting on a table.

it would only work if there was a way to pick and choose the warnings you want to know about. it sucks being woken up at 330am for a amber alert 400 miles away.

Almost all recent radios are SAME-compatible as far as I know, which means that you can program which particular watches/warnings/advisories that you want to hear for particular counties. That way, you don't have to hear about an amber alert issued 400 miles away... Then again, AHR shouldn't sent out a tone unless a county covered by the particular tower is under a watch/warning/advisory that would otherwise require a tone to be sent (thus the reason why you don't hear a tornado warning on the Oklahoma City AHR site for a county in Arkansas).
 
Here in the Chicago area i have never seen the radio advertised by ALL on air meteorologist. Of course this has everything to do with what happened a few hundered miles south of here Saturday night. i personally think its great that the people cities look to are telling the populations to buy these things

The NWS office in Chicago is also taking part
"A WEATHER RADIO NEXT TO YOUR BED WILL WAKE YOU UP IN THE EVENT OF A WEATHER WARNING. "

I also have never seen this towns meteorologists take a situation this seriously. You had tom skilling talking about the triple point and going indepth about shear. you had the guy on channel 5 saying the exact same thing. People were talking about the risk today unlike most other times when they are like , Severe storms, naw ive never seen a tornado.
Maybe the weather channel saw us complainning cause greg forbes is still there at 1230 at night. :eek:

Funny you should mention Tom Skilling getting technical. His forecasts are always pretty technical, no wonder they last 10 minutes sometimes. :wink: I've met him twice at spring seminars in Batavia, IL. I consider him a subject matter expert, maybe better than Greg Forbes? Anyway, Tom is da man, and all other Chicago mets should bow down to him.

Speaking of NOAA WEATHER radio (to get back on topic), it seems to have turned to NOAA ALL HAZARDS radio. This is starting to include amber alerts for missing children. Now I know this is a horrible thing and the public should know about it. I don't think the EAS should need to broadcast them. I've heard amber alerts on EAS, NOAA, and as severe alerts on local weather websites. I hope they don't start the NOAA alert tones for amber alerts in the middle of the night.
 
"I don't think the EAS should need to broadcast them."

Individual states determine whether or not EAS is activated.

"I hope they don't start the NOAA alert tones for amber alerts in the middle of the night."

Some did (Texas) but I think all now wait til morning to do so. They can use SAME 24/7 but the 1040Hz tone is more selective.

- Rob
 
While I agree that the promotion and encouragement of NOAA weather radios is a key element in risk reduction, it is by far not the only element. Personally, I believe it was not the warning system that "broke down" in this event, it was the watch system. While the SPC was keeping up with the system in accordance with current operational definitions, I believe the threat of that system demanded a higher degree of alarm and vigil. To one poster who said that no one could have predicted this, I say BS. Anyone of us can go back and review the synoptic setup, and have their own meteorological opinion, but I was personally shocked by the lack of apparent emphasis by all of the traditional weather information sources (see my thread on TWC, as example.) This was a very vigorous system; storm motions alone - at 70, 80, and even 100+ mph - demanded a very high level of diligence.

Now, I will throw out an idea. There is this concept of a PDS watch. There can be debate about how many times it has been correctly applied vs. how many times it has been incorrectly applied. Regardless, the PDS does (at least should) put local weather and news personnel on their toes. In this case, if a PDS would have influenced the 10:00 pm local news over the target area, I believe at least some of the folks affected may have tuned in, some may have heard the message, and perhaps made some decisions to protect themselves and their family before bedtime - be it just staying awake and alert to the weather, or maybe even deciding to go ahead and take the family to nearby relatives with a basement.

I believe the PDS watch definition itself should be changed to incorporate the full spectrum of risk factors. In other words - both the source of danger and characteristics of the target of danger should be incorporated when defining a PDS risk. The time of day (ie. nighttime), population density, and other risk factors on the "target" side of the equation should be incorporated in addition to the pure meteorological factors on the "source" side of the equation. Granted, not an easy algorithm to set up (we don't need a PDS every time a cold front approaches NYC), but there should be some exploration of this concept. Many areas (including my own) do not even have civil defense sirens. A tornado warning at night in the south simply doesn't equate to one issued in west Texas at 5:00pm on a spring day. Everyone and their brother is alert to the latter situation, but the channels are weak and tentative in alerting the population in the former situation. To take a step forward in protecting the public, a broader definition of "risk" needs to be defined, and this is a perfect opportunity to use the PDS watch concept to do just that.
 
Personally, I believe it was not the warning system that "broke down" in this event, it was the watch system. ... Anyone of us can go back and review the synoptic setup, and have their own meteorological opinion, but I was personally shocked by the lack of apparent emphasis by all of the traditional weather information sources....

I'm sure SPC would love to see the products they disseminate delivered to the public potentially at risk - but the demand for the information from the general public is clearly not present in many parts of the country or there would be a higher level of content delivery. While the folks at SPC undoubtly would love to go back and have a T-box out for the EVV area in advance of the tornadoes that occurred there, it wasn't like they were asleep at the wheel, as a SVR box was issued, and included the standard language:

"REMEMBER...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN AND OCCASIONALLY DO PRODUCE TORNADOES."

As for the predictability of this event - I say hogwash as to this being an obvious significant tornado event in advance. Sure - tornadoes appeared possible - and SPC had the area affected within a 2% risk, but I've yet to see a notable precursor to the event suggesting a significant tornado event was likely.

I believe the PDS watch definition itself should be changed to incorporate the full spectrum of risk factors.

The weakness I see in your argument is that alarm bells should already be going off if a region is rarely under a watch box, particularly if the time of day or season is unusual. While it would be a great public service of the media world to convey potential weather threats to the public - the public has to demand hearing it. Outside of tornado alley, I don't think this is generally present.

As far as the NOAA wx radio - I agree it is the responsibility of the public to take some accountability for their personal safety and there fore folks should invest in one if they are concerned about weather hazards. But, what we should all be bandwagonning for is increased safety standards in manufactured housing, such as requiring a tornado shelter be built within them. Yes - it would drive up the cost - but even a minimal shelter designed to withstand ~F2 winds would save many lives. If we want to blame someone else, why not blame the owners of mobile home parks for not providing storm shelters and local storm siren systems - again these should be mandated for sizeable, densely populated communities.

Glen
 
The problem about ringing the big alarm is that, if you bust, you can do much more harm than good. Much of the complacency that folks have nowadays is because of previous busts, when they took shelter, were told that it was a dangerous situation, yet nothing happened. Heck, NWSFOs sounded the alarm a little more yesterday, and look what happened -- bust-ola. Of course there will continue to be busts, but if you put out a heightened sense of alert, the busts become a more signficant detriment to the waning and response system. Again, folks have complained in the past about High risks issued for days with minimal instability, and we tend to see at least a couple of days each year which have elevated risks (MDT or HIGH) for this type of situation. From my experience, these types of events are quite bust-worthy, since a lot depends on small-scale local instability maxima that can enhance an updraft enough to allow for tornadogenesis. The debate about whether or not the SPC forecast was a "Good" forecast is fine, but this debate can be had during any bust (either an elevated risk bust or a missed event).

Obviously, there are times when you must ring the alarm bell, when you conditions really do look very favorable for tornadoes or signficant severe weather (derecho, etc). However, I certainly don't think Sat night looked like an "obvious" outbreak.. Sure, there was strong low-level shear, but we have many days with strong low-level shear. If instability isn't enough, or if there isn't a chance of surface-based convection, the chances of tornadoes is pretty nil. Heck, yesterday had very strong shear and weak instability, yet it was tornado-free. And in fact, few tornadoes occurred Saturday night, so it wasn't an outbreak. Texts mentioned the possbility of an isolate tornado, but I agree that it was far from looking like a 'signficant tornado event'.
 
Glen wrote:

"I've yet to see a notable precursor to the event that occurred suggesting a significant tornado event was likely."

I'm not sure how close you were following this in real time, and I respect your analysis as much as anyone who posts on here, but the fact is that very vigorous convection was ongoing through Sat. evening across MO and IL - moving eastward at extremely high speeds. Reflectivity indicated the cells were robust and, if anything, strengthening rather than weakening. While there was an overall indication of linear consolidation, there were scores of persistent mesocylone signatures on the nose of these convective bands. The lines were moving into an area the RUC had a 60+ kt LLJ over. Personally, I couldn't believe my eyes at what I was seeing, and even moreso couldn't believe the lack of apparent notice on the part of mainstream outlets. Again, the forward storm motions alone should have caused some alert to any meteorologist with responsibility on that shift. I guess if you want to be an apologist and say "no one could have seen this coming", then why even bother to forecast or suggest improvements in forecasting? This may have seemed like a freak tragedy, but I believe there are elements of prevention which should have been incorporated.
 
"Again, the forward storm motions alone should have caused some alert to any meteorologist with responsibility on that shift."

Not sure I can connect the dots... Because the storms were moving quickly, we should assume a greater risk of F3's dropping?
 
ya...

moving eastward at extremely high speeds. Reflectivity indicated the cells were robust and, if anything, strengthening rather than weakening. While there was an overall indication of linear consolidation, there were scores of persistent mesocylone signatures on the nose of these convective bands.

There are plenty of cases of fast, isolated cells which never produce F3s. In addition, the occurence of mesocyclones doesn't neccesarily mean tornadoes . Many times, the storms remain elevated and never establash a meso at the surface. Convection is often elevated in association with the LLJ.

Aaron
 
Umm, yes, RDale, when there was indication of mesoscale rotation all over the storm front, for several hours, and storms are screaming along at 70mph - at night, during an unseasonable time of the year, and the mid and upper level dynamics were progressivley intensifying in support - yes, I think there was plenty of indication of heightened risk.
 
I mentioned the possibility of a "few violent tornadic supercells" in my morning analysis post in the FCST thread... This was primarily said towards southern/central IL. Here is the original, in complete full form, the outlook graphic I generated FRI night before I left for Springfield:

http://midwestchase.com/november_sat_outlook2.jpg

I highlighted eastcentral MO into southwest IN in a "sig" risk -- with "isld supercells" all the way northeast of Indianapolis and then back southward towards Louisville. To be honest, I think SPC could have issued a MDT based on wind/hail potential (easily could have warranted a 25% hatched/35% across IL) and still kept the broad 5% TOR risk. I pretty much thought that supercells would form over eastern MO shortly before sunset (which they did) and then rapidly transform into a line afterdark with embedded mesocyclones and isolated tornadoes. Was I surprised that a significant/killer tornado struck southwest IN? Nope... Would I have issued a HIGH risk and PDS watch? Nope... But I would have issued a MDT risk based on wind/hail potential with wording for a strong tornado possible should sfc-based thunderstorms sustain themselves (for the MO/IL/IN area -- as noted in the original graphic I produced FRI night).
 
I mentioned the possibility of a "few violent tornadic supercells" in my morning analysis post in the FCST thread...

That is my point. To say that no one could have predicted this, it was a freak event, that the risk factors just weren't there, is an absolute cop-out. The dynamics of this setup may not have been completely "self-evident" but were evident enough to have warranted much, much more attention from the traditional sources of information that the general public relies upon. Apologize for the performance of TWC and others all day long, RDale (and I recall you were one promoting a bill to just drop all raw weather data into private hands), but there were some real shortfalls in analysis, prediction and public warning here.
 
"when there was indication of mesoscale rotation all over the storm front, for several hours, and storms are screaming along at 70mph - at night"

Ummm, okay. Why didn't they produce tornadoes the rest of the night when they looked just as bad and were moving just as fast? Why didn't we get tornadoes last night in a similar setup? Was there a tornado threat? Sure. Was it worthy of a TOR box at the onset? I (and SPC) don't believe so.

"The dynamics of this setup may not have been completely "self-evident" but were evident enough to have warranted much, much more attention from the traditional sources of information that the general public relies upon."

What does that mean? There's nothing to indicate that local TV stations did not play up the sevwx threat unless you saw something that you haven't posted about.

"Apologize for the performance of TWC"

? Where did TWC come into this?

"and I recall you were one promoting a bill to just drop all raw weather data into private hands"

Wow, talk about taking a comment out of context in order to make your "point"? That was not what I said.

"but there were some real shortfalls in analysis, prediction and public warning here."

Thankfully we have your 20/20 hindsight! No way that could ever be wrong...

- Rob
 
Not meaning to pick an argument here, RDale, but I do believe it was you posting very vigorously that private firms should be given raw data out of the gate, at no cost, and prior to any NWS analysis. Then - what - we just rely on Accuweather, TWC and all the other private concerns to protect the public? Then, in the thread about the TWC's completely dropping the ball on this system, you posted comments completely absolving them of any responsibility at all; they are a private concern, they can post garden weather, ski weather or whatever they would like even while a severe weather event is ongoing and, well, according to you, that's just the way it is, accept it, and no comment is warranted.

All I was suggesting in my original post was that all risk factors should be taken into account. Again, I don't know how closely you were following this system in real time, but rotating supercells traversing the land at 70+ mph, over a course of several hours - come on, it didn't take a huge leap of logic to suggest a heigtened level of risk here.
 
I guess if you want to be an apologist and say "no one could have seen this coming", then why even bother to forecast or suggest improvements in forecasting? This may have seemed like a freak tragedy, but I believe there are elements of prevention which should have been incorporated.

I never suggested the event was wholly unforecast - I just agree with SPC that the likelihood of the event unfolding as it did was quite small from the model and observational guidance leading up to the event. even as the event unfolded, indications were that the cells, while rotating, were likely not rooted in the boundary layer. It was as the cells entered a relative plume in low-level moisture that the transition occurred, and ideally the forecasters would have been wary of how the storms would react as they approached this - but the response was more reactionary than anticipatory.

Experienced forecasters know to look for an evolution in damaging wind reports to indicate trends to lowering storm inflow layers - but if you look at the storm reports there is a lack of wind reports prior to the storms becoming tornadic. This may also be due to issues with storm spotter network sparcity in the region. Regardless, as already noted, storm motion does not translate directly to storm severity - and in some cases can suggest the opposite, as in the storm inflow likely is elevated with faster storm motions.

Hindcasts are easy, nowcasts are somewhat challenging at times, but true forecasting can be very difficult to have consistent success.

Glen
 
"but I do believe it was you posting very vigorously that private firms should be given raw data out of the gate, at no cost, and prior to any NWS analysis."

No, I said that the NWS should not compete with the private sector on things that are not for the "good of the whole" like predicting length of time where RH > 70% for a day.

"you posted comments completely absolving them of any responsibility at all"

Correct. They have no obligation to interrupt national programming for a tornado in EVV. They run the crawl, the EVV viewers are alerted, and the lack of Stu Ostro or whoever does not mean they dropped the ball.

"but rotating supercells traversing the land at 70+ mph, over a course of several hours - come on, it didn't take a huge leap of logic to suggest a heigtened level of risk here."

Sure there is a heightened level of risk. There was a watch out, and the warnings were issued with ample time, and the local TV stations were going wall-to-wall, so I'm not sure how issuing a TOR box based on lack of TOR reports would have changed anything. Look at yesterday - TOR box issued with a grand total of one storm and 0 tornadoes. Was it a good idea? Based on the available info? Sure. A mistake? In hindsight, yes.

- Rob
 
RDale wrote:

"They have no obligation to interrupt national programming for a tornado in EVV."

I just disagree. True, they have no legal obligation, but an enterprise whose fundamental mission is 24-hour weather coverage, to me, has an obligation to alert viewers when the weather becomes so severe that life or property is threatened. As with different learning styles, there are different observational styles. The fact is - for many folks - hearing a human voice posting an alert gives a more heightened sense of viligence.

The other flaw in your defense of TWC is an implied assumption that extremely current news is at odds with "regular programming." The fact is - it doesn't have to be that way. There is another model that TWC could stand to learn from: the business channel CNBC. CNBC probably runs five times as much regular programming, interviews and general topical news in a 24-hour cycle than TWC does, still getting plenty of time in for their sponsors. However, CNBC has a system in place where a significant business news event interrupts regular programming at a moment's notice. There is no reason TWC cannot do the same when it comes to weather. Fact is, someone was asleep behind the wheel on TWC the other night, or the organization fostered a sleepy environment.

The argument that they simply don't care about severe weather over the heartland is false - if they didn't, then why were they orienting their program around last Saturday's events for the subsequent 3 days? They kept a great vigil last night, but yesterday's setup was not at all the same as last Saturday's, from any objective analysis.

I'm not sure what your motivation is to defend the sanctity of private weather services, and at the same time apologize for their lack of performance. I guess if you're satsified that 23 deaths was just a freak event, couldn't have been mitigated, that's your opinion. I believe the system could have performed better.
 
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