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danawhitaker
Space...The Final Frontier
Premium
join:2002-03-02
Urbandale, IA
reply to ropeguru

Re: Weather Channel is worse than politicians...

You guys are really completely missing the point. There is a whole segment of the population who would completely ignore the weather and endanger their own lives if things like The Weather Channel and local news stations (I'm lumping the latter in because their coverage often seems spotty and arbitrary and they have a bunch of random names for things like their Doppler products as well) did not exist. Those people do not care enough about the weather to read or listen to National Weather Service forecasts or have radios. WE (those of us who pay attention to weather to that degree) are the ones who are not normal. Anyone who bothers to post in a weather forum already takes a larger-than-normal degree of interest in the weather. I stress again, *we* are the ones who are *not* normal.

I had the channel on for a good portion of the afternoon yesterday because, living in the Midwest, and not being impacted by the blizzard directly (or even indirectly), there's no real coverage of it around here. I didn't once hear them give out information that wasn't accurate. They were not being cavalier with their coverage. They were stressing to people what conditions they'd be encountering and not to put themselves in harm's way, including the coastal flood warnings, which seemed to be getting relatively ignored in other coverage I saw. I also heard them advising people to acquire weather radios so that they can get updated information from the NWS in the event that they lose power. Aside from giving the storm a name, they weren't giving out any information that didn't fall in line with what the National Weather Service was likely telling people. Now, if they were creating new measurement scales for wind and snow and rain, or ignoring the conventional National Weather Service categorizations for blizzards, hurricanes, tornado watches and warnings, severe thunderstorm watches and warnings, etc, I'd agree with you they're screwing with a "national standard". But they aren't ignoring those things. They're *adding* things that draw attention to the latter. Someone who hears there's a TOR:CON of X for their area will be more apt to pay attention when their local news station issues a tornado or severe thunderstorm watch. When there's a tornado watch issued by the National Weather Service, they carry that information, they explain what it means. They have *not* made up their own terms for these things, and they do not issue them on their own. The things that they have done are intended to draw people's attention to a storm a few days before it hits.

I won't dispute that since they were acquired by NBC certain aspects have gone downhill, and it's unfortunate how much junky reality-type programs are in their schedule. On the other hand, I suspect that the viability of a 24/7 forecast model was waning, and they probably had to adapt. When there's a major event, I've seen them preempt their reality programming in favor of covering what's going on. As a weather nut, I'm thrilled that there's even anything remotely mainstream when it comes to weather coverage.
--
You're watching Sports Night on CSC so stick around...



EGeezer
zichrona livracha
Premium
join:2002-08-04
Midwest
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Callcentric

What's important to me and my neighbors is that if there's a NWS tornado watch or warning, our SAME receiver will activate and nag us. It doesn't go off for a TOR:CON.

I and everyone else in my neighborhood knows to be on the alert if a NWS tornado watch is issued, or take cover if a warning is issued.

The TORCON thing adds nothing to the equation except confusion.

Description of TOR:CON values:

0 - near-zero chance of a tornado or severe thunderstorm nearby
2 - very low chance of a tornado nearby, but hail or strong wind gusts possible
4 - low chance of a tornado nearby, but hail and/or strong wind gusts possible
6 - moderate possibility of a tornado in the area of concern
8 - high probability of a tornado in the area of concern

Most lay people know what watches and warnings are, but I doubt many can recite the TOR:CON values.

I've been watching the Weather channel the past day or so, but just to see the videos and be glad it's 75 and sunny where I am.
--
Buckle Up. It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car.


danawhitaker
Space...The Final Frontier
Premium
join:2002-03-02
Urbandale, IA

1 edit

said by EGeezer:

What's important to me and my neighbors is that if there's a NWS tornado watch or warning, our SAME receiver will activate and nag us. It doesn't go off for a TOR:CON.

I and everyone else in my neighborhood knows to be on the alert if a NWS tornado watch is issued, or take cover if a warning is issued.

The TORCON thing adds nothing to the equation except confusion.

Description of TOR:CON values:

0 - near-zero chance of a tornado or severe thunderstorm nearby
2 - very low chance of a tornado nearby, but hail or strong wind gusts possible
4 - low chance of a tornado nearby, but hail and/or strong wind gusts possible
6 - moderate possibility of a tornado in the area of concern
8 - high probability of a tornado in the area of concern

Most lay people know what watches and warnings are, but I doubt many can recite the TOR:CON values.

I've been watching the Weather channel the past day or so, but just to see the videos and be glad it's 75 and sunny where I am.

The TOR:CON is something they talk about in the days leading up to an approaching severe weather event. It's something you'll see when they're discussing the forecast for the next few days. If you want to, next time you hear one, check the Storm Prediction Center's probabilistic forecasts for severe weather potential. They line up almost perfectly. It seems to be highly based off that. What it does is give people a heads-up to maybe make sure they have batteries for their weather radio or know where it is in the first place.

A tornado watch, on the other hand, is issued a few hours in advance of a potential severe weather event, and the warning when such weather is imminent.

I don't see anyone here criticizing the Storm Prediction Center for issuing its severe weather outlooks. The TOR:CON is basically the SPC website for weather "dummies". I would never advise somebody to rely on the TOR:CON instead of getting a weather radio or paying attention to issued watches and warnings. Though I actually hate those radios because the beeps and voice used trigger anxiety in me. I have one in the event all my other sources fail, but I prefer in the event of really bad weather to first turn on local news sources for their live radar and storm tracking. I go batty without visual information.

Edit: In my experience, people really don't seem to know the difference between watches and warnings anyway. Seriously. They also lack awareness about which county they live in, which counties surround them and what directions those counties are, and what cities are nearby that they can use to determine how close something might be to them in the event a warning is issued. When I was in high school, a friend and I were out during a tornado warning, and we stopped to take shelter. The people there where whining about having their shopping interrupted, insisted it didn't look "that bad" out, and kept asking to be allowed to leave the mall. That was in 1998. I haven't seen much difference since then.