I am extremely busy during the late afternoon hours doing a variety of things, but as you might expected I paused long enough to watch the ABC News story from Birmingham tonight on the tornado warning process. You can watch it here:
My initial thoughts….
*I am very thankful to ABC News for producing the story. It brought the message clearly that you should never rely on outdoor warning sirens, and we must move to Weather Radio receivers, smart phone apps, etc. And, the story proved there were good warnings Monday morning.
*They missed the date of our generational tornado outbreak… Their graphic said April 11; the actual date, of course, was April 27.
*No correction on the incorrect reporting of some kind of FEMA text messaging service. See the FEMA message here.
*There was no apology, or mention of the botched story yesterday when Diane Sawyer said the pre-dawn tornadoes Monday were a “surprise” with “no warning”. A little odd how you just go from that one day, to a story on how good the warning process was the next day. But, I am not a journalist and maybe that is just the way you do it. Seems strange. I would imagine Diane actually didn’t write that copy, but she will probably think twice about fact checking on lead story intros.
*We have learned we can make a difference. The storm on social media was noticed immediately at ABC News, and they responded. Word got out to the masses that the warnings were indeed good early Monday, and you can’t rely on outdoor warning sirens.
*A special thanks to everybody who communicated with ABC News through social media, email, or phone calls on our behalf. My frustration is with the situation yesterday is shared by ALL of those hard working people involved in the warning process. The National Weather Service, the EM community (emergency managers), and broadcast meteorologists. I felt that these people were devalued and insulted yesterday.
Let’s move on and be sure we all get warnings. Go here to see our recommended solutions.
Thanks again to all of you for your support!
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About the Author (Author Profile)James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations.
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