The NWS has done a disservice, what???

Joey Ketcham

I am amazed at some of the things people sometimes say, I think this one takes the cake.

The poster there is saying that the NWS has done a disservice because they broadcast so many severe t-storm warnings.

I've done made a reply. I swear..
Wow, that's hilarious. Wouldn't it be a shame that someone would miss a life-threatening warning due to the fact that a couple of people that wouldn't want to miss a re-run of CSI.

On a serious note, they really should fire Katie Horner, she's not a nice person in "real" life. On February 28th, I couldn't help but notice they had some "Amy" chick running all over the viewing area, and the best she could find was some pea-sized hail in Louisburg. Also, KCTV 5 continuously ran an ad, taking credit for storm chasers reports for the 3-12-06 tornado that narrowly missed Marshall, MO.
It would be a shame, it's that way in every market though.

Doesn't sound like Katie has a good reputation though, I can't really comment about her though because I've never seen her on TV.
That stuff drives me insane.

On March 12 2006 as Springfield, IL was being hit some of you remember that the radio station I work for did continuous live coverage on air, and via the internet (I remember some of you were listening).

Anyway, a couple people called in and complained saying that the storm wasn't affecting them and that they were bored and wanted regular programming back. My boss mentioned we were going off the air once the storm had weakened but "not because of the irrate callers that we have recieved". Almost immidiately after this, the phone lines lit up with people calling to commend us for the coverage, and dissing the other whiners. The majority of people respect and appreciate the live and up to date coverage the NWS and media provide, but there will always be the select few whiners who want nothing of the sort. Those are always the people who "had no warning" when the tornado hits their home.
It just amazes me how stupid some people in this world are. Makes you want to grab their throat with one hand and slap some sense into them with the other!!!
I've long noticed that people seem to sort of shrug off severe thunderstorms until they are impacted in a big way (i.e. baseball sized hail making some cosmetic modifications to their car!)
Maybe it should be mandatory for people to go through some kind storm simulator... that might teach people it's better to take "mother nature" seriously.
Now aren't those also aerodynamic modifications? (like in golf ball)

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."
-Douglas Adams

It just amazes me how stupid some people in this world are.
"Never underestimate the power of human stupidity."
-Robert Heinlein

"Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so."
-Bertrand Russell

"The chief obstacle to the progress of the human race is the human race."
-Don Marquis

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
-Albert Einstein
A quick translation...

"We had no warning" = "we weren't paying attention to the weather"

Unless it's the dead of night or you're deaf and blind, there's no reason to be surprised by severe weather. I don't care who says what, there is no excuse. Every person in the world with a television, radio, or computer has access to the exact same info chasers do. They just don't care.
I've long sensed that the public is growing increasingly apathetic towards severe weather. So many warnings are issued these days, for good cause of course, but because no damage occurs people automatically assume the warning was merely a false alarm.

How many times have outdoor warning sirens been activated, yet no tornado damage occurs in the immediate vicinity? While you and I understand what's going on, John Q. Public assumes no tornado damage must mean there never really was a threat in the first place. Allow this "shampoo - rinse - repeat" cycle to continue for ten or twenty years and when the real thing hits people are caught with their pants down.

I really wish the NWS and/or other outreach groups would make a more concerted effort to make the public understand that every severe or tornado warned storm is not going to be followed by damage within every square mile covered by the warning, but that the threat is imminent and you life and/or propery COULD be in danger and you SHOULD take action to prevent said unfortune.
The entire 'fire Katie' board makes me want to spew. How soon people forget ... it wasn't that long ago in May 2003 when this city was under the gun and the storms were cutting their swath through the heart of this town. People here are all back to the same old garbage ... just this week I've heard three conversations about the Linn County storm and how tornadoes don't seem to come into the city. The city must be magically protected by a wonderful spell from a kind wizard or something. It's nice to have enough superstition to help us sleep well at night, I guess. One person told me this week that the heat island effect must repel the tornadoes into going around city limits. You can tell that Kansas City is the birthplace of Walt Disney, because we have tons of imagination around here.
Time and time again, unfortunately so, people continuously ignore the potential threat of severe weather. People think having a 4WD vehicle will keep them safe while they drive 100 miles in blizzard conditions, or that the tornado won't hit because the town is protected/the warnings never verify/whatever the excuse is. I call it "Meteorological Goldfish Memory", or MGM.

MGM is a condition where the population of a specific area tends to forget anything that happens with the weather after a few days. A tornado hits a town at night and kills 20 people, within 2 weeks anyone not affected by it blows it off (when they are affected by it, folks tend to wise up a bit). The first significant snowfall of the year, even mere inches (I think people in Michigan can certainly verify this), and what happens? People end up in the ditch or in a car accident because their car lost control, and its the same thing every year.

MGM can be countered partially with attempting to increase public awareness of why watches/warnings/advisories are issued, as well as to the dangers that can be posed by severe or inclement weather. Ask your meteorologist if increased public awareness is right for your community :p.
The first significant snowfall of the year, even mere inches (I think people in Michigan can certainly verify this), and what happens? People end up in the ditch or in a car accident because their car lost control, and its the same thing every year.

This is 100% true. Even here in Canada many still believe that 4 seasons tires will do the job at 0 F. And this even if it was proven that more than 50% of winter deadly car accidents would have been avoided by simply wearing winter tires. There is a legislation pending about the obligation of using winter tires from December to March.

The point is: people only take safe habits if they are forced to. Most of them relatively respect speed limits because going faster cost $$$. They will go onto highway in the blizzard unless the highway is closed.

The average John Q in fact just wants to keep the same way of life. Taking shelter is boring and make him miss his activities. He then just forgets about the warning.

In fact people want OTHERS to take care of their safety. If they get hit by severe weather, it is because SOMEONE ELSE didn't do his job. You can see the same with homeland security: they want somebody to do his job right BUT DON'T TOUCH TO THEIR LIBERTY AND/OR PRIVACY. (Can't speak for USA but this debate was running in Canada: people are scared that authorities will go listent to their phone and listen to their personnal life, like if John Q's life was so interesting).

This is the way people are.
The worst part of this topic is how the apathy to severe weather warnings has not changed over the years. It makes me both angry & sad.

Numerous times over the years I've called to warn family and friends about tornadic supercells heading for their house. They almost never take me seriously (with one exception) and just shrug it off because they don't want to disrupt their daily lives, or their primetime TV show, or whatever it is they are doing. They basically think that they are immune to tornadoes for whatever ridiculous reason.

Event 1)
A major outbreak of significant tornadoes was literally unfolding just after dark. One of the supercells was heading straight for a couple who are dear to me, with a history of producing tornadoes and confirmed damage & injuries mind you! They shrugged this off saying, "Oh, they never hit us, we're in-between two hills, ect..". I couldn't believe it. I told them to get in the basement, hang out for a few minutes, and I'll call in 15 min. I wasn't asking for 3 hours, just half a TV show. Seriously, 30 years ago people would have begged for such a valuable, personal tornado warning. Nope, not them. But I guess I forgot most people are weather experts and immune to tornadoes...

Lucky for them that night the supercell cycled and the new meso was developing as it raced over their county...practically right over them. It produced a tornado in the county to their east. Talk about freakin luck. And what do I get in return, "I told you we'd be fine, you worry too much". Give me a break! They never realize how close they come to a disaster until it actually happens. (This is the same night some town east of Memphis got destroyed)

Example 2)
This is the most recent incident that upset me to the point of insanity. It was the day of the Enterprise, Alabama tornado. One of the tornadic supercells crossed into Georgia and was literally making a b-line towards my girlfriend's grandmother's house. We had to call her mother to get a hold her grandmother, to simply tell her "turn on your TV", because she's not into technology.

We told her mom there was a storm with strong rotation and tornado warning, likely with a tornado on the ground, heading straight for grandma. She acted like it was nothing and didn't even call grandma! This storm showed strong rotation until it entered her county, and then cycled - only depicting weak rotation - and then strong rotation returned 2 radar scans later. A tornado warning was literally cancelled and then re-issued in less than 15 minutes as this storm raced northeast at 45mph! Another close call, but my girlfriend's mom thinks my girlfriend and I are nuts, having no idea the severity of the situation. Unbelievable!

If you're read this far you now know that even some people that know me(meteorologist/storm chaser) don't head my warning when I feel the situation is serious! Some people just don't care...
My dad has the same attitude.

This is a true story from just a few years ago. It was a day when an outbreak of severe weather and tornadoes were forecasted. It was early in the afternoon when I was getting ready to head out, my dad being his typical self said that it was stupid to go storm chasing and that nothing was going to happen.

The day in question? May 4th, 2003. The same day my dad told me nothing would happen, an F4 tornado developed 7 miles from my house, traveled NE and destroyed Franklin, KS. In fact, it destroyed my brother's in-laws house. A day when many communities in both SE Kansas and SW Missouri were hit hard by very large and destructive tornadoes, and yet it was earlier that same day when my dad was telling me nothing would happen.
I am not sure we will ever change most peoples minds about weather and the dangers. These people think it will never happen to them until it does and then its too late. then they scream about not having any warning and asking why the NWS and TV wasnt knocking on their door to tell them it was coming.

You cant prevent every death due to weather BUT... I strongly feel a majority of weather related deaths are preventable and happen to stupid people who ignore warnings. Most people that drowned in floods do so because they drove through rushing waters. To be honest thats too bad. you ignored the warnings and now you get to pay the penalty.. Maybe thats a cold way to look at it but as they say "you cant fix stupid". I dont have alot of sympathy for people who die or get injured after ignoring warnings. I do have sympathy for people who tried to take shelter but things happened anyway.

If this guy hates the wx coverage and being interupted or woken up in the midle of the night let him change the channel or turn his wx radio off and suffer the consequences. All that will happen is we will be cleaning out the gene pool a little bit :)
What these people are actually clamoring for is censorship, and it's for selfish reasons. In a case like the Linn Co. storm, Time Warner could have interrupted programming across the board to bring people the latest information, and some people would still need more before actually doing something.
They should fire her. Severe T-Storm warnings should not be issued, and the NWS should ONLY issue a Tornado Warning if the tornado is in a city over 10,000 people or if it is at least a half mile wide. If they interrupt Grey's Anatomy one more time, I'm gonna.........

/Can we get a new dead horse? This one is worn out.
I too have family and friends in Georgia. My brother is in Albany. I called to let them know about the storm. A friend in Cuthburt didn't believe them and didn't know about any severe weather in the area. I talked to him and let him know that there was a storm approaching with a good possibility of a tornado as well. He took ME seriously and kept alert. Luckily the storm just missed him to the north.
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Actually, Walt Disney was born in the Chicago area and grew up in Marcelline, MO (near IRK, on the BNSF Railway). He lived in KC as a teenager and young man before moving to California.
Unfortunately, those relatively few whiners do have an effect on programming, some news directors will kowtow. It all depends on the quality of the people at the respective station. Fielding those nasty calls is a &*%@$, but is a part of the business.

The public is generally apathetic to anything that doesn't affect them directly. For entertainment and ratings, weather is pushed, both stories on it and competition leading to coverage of actual events, and given given the melodramatic crap it's no wonder people are tuning it out.

As for the NWS criticism in this case, that doesn't even merit comment. I do, however, advocate raising the severe criteria (at the very least for hail).
Unfortunately, those relatively few whiners do have an effect on programming, some news directors will kowtow.

"Gentlemen, we got 20 calls about the David Hyde-Pierce incident. And as you know, one call equals a billion people, which means 20 billion people were offended by this. Needless to say, something must be done."

- FCC Suit #1; Family Guy 4.14 "PTV"

Sounded familiar to me, anyway...
Anytime a Program Director, or News Director puts recorded entertainment programming above broadcasting emergency information live as it happens, he or she needs to be fired on the spot. Also, if the management of the TV station does nothing about it, the FCC should revoke their license on the spot.
Totally Agree with everyone. Most tornado deaths can be prevented, if the people just pay attention. On the other hand, people mostly depend on TV break in's, But what is the point of the station thats cares more about making 20 people happy by not srewing up a Basketball game, than the other 100,000 viewers that depends on them when severe weather is occuring . Some TV stations care more about public satisfation than public safety, and there needs to be something done about this.
I agree. I am surprised there are hardly any severe weather related fatalities in my country, because our media is the one they dream about. Actually, I know a very good way how to transmit live sports results(and also newsflashs about severe weather), but what your country hardly uses: Teletext!