The Semantics of Weather Awareness

Geek Culture

Sometimes all the technology and warning in the world can't help everyone. We need to accept that. But the National Weather Service would like to think they're getting through to most of us. I agree. Damage from the Murfreesboro, TN tornado of April 2009. Photo by Flickr user RussSwift via CC.

In the wake of last weekend’s tornado outbreak impacting Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, on ABC News, Diane Sawyer reported that there was no warning to the storms:

Something terrifying took the South by surprise last night — no warning. 25 tornadoes striking in less than 24 hours.

In the meteorology community, especially among some of my broadcast-meteorology friends, there was a LOT of discussion about the media really messing things up this time. Perhaps many people didn’t hear the warning, because they were asleep, but that does not mean there was no warning!

A friend posted this open letter earlier this week on her blog, She speaks my sentiment exactly. The National Weather Service has been performing exceptionally well in recent outbreaks, sometimes providing one week’s notice on potential tornadic activity.

Read the rest of Meteorologist Patricia Vollmer’s post at GeekMom.

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