Weather Channel, Crying wolf

Here in Chicago if you watch TWC and listen to its radio broadcasts of WGN radio, they are always saying "some storms may be severe". They are using this on most everyday that storms are possible. In the past the only time they would have the severe wording is on days when the SPC had a moderate or higher risk of severe weather over the region. I know TWC isint a good source of weather information and i almost never pay attention but a lot of other people who know nothing about weather do and them continually saying severe storms are possible will make people numb when severe storms are more likely than regular pulse storms durning the summer.
 
If SPC has it outlooked it probably makes sense to mention the chance... Once NWS raises the criteria of a severe storm to one that actually causes concern from a safety perspective then things would be different.

But for now, a LARGE percent of SVR warnings simply mean you'll get some small hail and a few tree limbs broken.
 
TWC used to take the wording from NWS point forecasts, which are broadcasted on NOAA weather radio. I don't think they do that anymore. However, I have not seen severe wording just because thunderstorms are forecast.

This thread reminds me of one of the big events in May 2004 though. One morning I turned on TWC and they actually put the word "tornadoes" in the local on the 8's. It went like this: "Today. Scattered thunderstorms. Storms may contain tornadoes." We've had fairly high tornado threats since then, and I have not seen that wording again. They don't even mention the damaging winds and hail that are more likely than the tornadoes. We didn't get tornadoes that day, by the way. A couple big supercells fired in Mchenry and Grundy counties, but they held off until very late afternoon that day. It was mostly a cap bust that day.
 
Here are my ground rules for broadcasting severe weather risk...

If the NWSFO or the SPC have it in their HWO or the SWODY1, definitely mention it.
If the NWSFO has it in the discussion or HWO but not in the zones, then casually mention it.
When there's a possibility, but there's only a slight chance, I use the phrases
"one or two possibly strong to severe," or, "an isolated tornado is possible," as needed.
That way the public gets made aware of the possibility without going overboard, the trick is to mention the uncertainty as much as the risk.

Damon Poole
Radio Producer,
Skywarn Spotter
 
Here are my ground rules for broadcasting severe weather risk...

If the NWSFO or the SPC have it in their HWO or the SWODY1, definitely mention it.
If the NWSFO has it in the discussion or HWO but not in the zones, then casually mention it.
When there's a possibility, but there's only a slight chance, I use the phrases
"One or two possibly strong to severe." or "An isolated tornado is possible." as needed.
That way the public gets made aware of the possibility without going overboard, the trick is to mention the uncertainty as much as the risk.

Damon Poole
Radio Producer,
Skywarn Spotter
[/b]


About 10 days ago TWC had "a few may be severe" on our local forecast pages and SPC and OAX did not even have us in general.
 
You think TWC's bad, check out the numerous Inaccu-Bungle hurricane season posts here in the last 2 months. Maybe they either just need a ratings boost, or an ego boost. :lol:

...Poole


About 10 days ago TWC had "a few may be severe" on our local forecast pages and SPC and OAX did not even have us in general.
[/b]
 
I have seen the "storms may contain tornadoes" twice in the last 13 months once on June 4, and again on March 30, 2006 when one (although weak F0) actually hit Hutchinson.
 
TWC used to take the wording from NWS point forecasts, which are broadcasted on NOAA weather radio. I don't think they do that anymore. However, I have not seen severe wording just because thunderstorms are forecast.

This thread reminds me of one of the big events in May 2004 though. One morning I turned on TWC and they actually put the word "tornadoes" in the local on the 8's. It went like this: "Today. Scattered thunderstorms. Storms may contain tornadoes." We've had fairly high tornado threats since then, and I have not seen that wording again. They don't even mention the damaging winds and hail that are more likely than the tornadoes. We didn't get tornadoes that day, by the way. A couple big supercells fired in Mchenry and Grundy counties, but they held off until very late afternoon that day. It was mostly a cap bust that day.
[/b]

Ive seen that also, twice this year, once before the big outbreak in March (march 12 i think it was) and the early april outbreak. those were warranted since there was a enhanced risk of severe storms those days but like this past weekend, every single day had "some storms may be severe". It didnt really storm anywhere in NE illinois this past weekend as well. its not the first time they have done it either, they have done it all year.

Its funny though, last wednesday we had a pretty good squall line move through ne illinois and ever as it was entering illinois the weather channel meteorologist on the radio said he didnt think it would hit the chicago area.
 
Back
Top