Thoughts on the April 27-28 Tornado Outbreak

By: 24hourprof , 1:55 PM GMT on May 07, 2014

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In the aftermath of the tornado outbreak over the Deep South on April 27-28, 2014, I was bothered by reporters walking onto private property where homes were dramatically damaged (obviously, the owners were not there because the homes were essentially destroyed). To my chagrin, some reporters then picked up personal property and held it up to the camera. I think such behavior by the media is both disrespectful and very presumptuous. What right do they have to go on private property and root through the possessions of the people who lived there?

Before the tornado outbreak, I even heard some forecasters, who, in my view, should be more sensitive to the potential tragic consequences of significant tornado outbreaks, become way too excited at the possibility of large wedge twisters in Arkansas on the 27th. You hear excessive exuberance all the time from some storm chasers. All I'm saying here is that we, as a forecasting community, should always be cognizant of the potential impacts to life and property, and that a more sober approach to forecasting and reporting is warranted.

In a broader context, I'm starting to believe that the media have discovered the "cash cow" associated with weather disasters (and weather, in general). In my opinion, the media seem, at least to me, to hype these events just for the sake of ratings.

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10. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
4:23 PM GMT on May 11, 2014
24hourprof has created a new entry.
9. 24hourprof
2:08 PM GMT on May 08, 2014
Quoting 4. Astrometeor:

Oh, by the way, nice to see an entry from you Lee! Good to have you back.

Also, I have a blog entry I think you'll be interested in reading: Astro's Choice for College

-Nathan


Congrats Nathan, on Millersville. Great school! Millersville's gain is PSU's loss.

Lee
Member Since: October 24, 2012 Posts: 91 Comments: 803
8. 24hourprof
12:08 PM GMT on May 08, 2014
Quoting 5. BaltimoreBrian:

Lee, do you watch or participate in weatherbrains?

Great to see you back!


No, I don't. What's the general idea of the Web site? Thanks!

Lee
Member Since: October 24, 2012 Posts: 91 Comments: 803
7. 24hourprof
12:07 PM GMT on May 08, 2014
Quoting 4. Astrometeor:

Oh, by the way, nice to see an entry from you Lee! Good to have you back.

Also, I have a blog entry I think you'll be interested in reading: Astro's Choice for College

-Nathan


Thanks Nathan!

Lee
Member Since: October 24, 2012 Posts: 91 Comments: 803
6. 24hourprof
12:06 PM GMT on May 08, 2014
Quoting 3. Astrometeor:

Those reporters should be careful. By law, they are trespassing on private property and can be evicted from the premise if the homeowner has any energy left to do so.

The reporters I respect are those that put down their cameras for once and actually help. Those guys and girls earn my respect.

----

As for the storm chasers, I guess it depends. The chasers who blog here know very well the potential damages and casualties that can result from a wedge tornado. However, that doesn't diminish their enthusiasm for the storms. I think it's mainly just knowing when to be excited and when to bite one's tongue and give sympathies and aid to those in need.


Too bad there are reporters who ignore privacy issues and storm chasers who are over-the-top giddy with excitement as a wedge tornado bears down on a populated area. That's what I strongly object to (then they publish their hyper-ventilating excitement on the Web for the whole world to hear).
Member Since: October 24, 2012 Posts: 91 Comments: 803
5. BaltimoreBrian
3:11 AM GMT on May 08, 2014
Lee, do you watch or participate in weatherbrains?

Great to see you back!
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8630
4. Astrometeor
3:10 AM GMT on May 08, 2014
Oh, by the way, nice to see an entry from you Lee! Good to have you back.

Also, I have a blog entry I think you'll be interested in reading: Astro's Choice for College

-Nathan
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10329
3. Astrometeor
3:07 AM GMT on May 08, 2014
Those reporters should be careful. By law, they are trespassing on private property and can be evicted from the premise if the homeowner has any energy left to do so.

The reporters I respect are those that put down their cameras for once and actually help. Those guys and girls earn my respect.

----

As for the storm chasers, I guess it depends. The chasers who blog here know very well the potential damages and casualties that can result from a wedge tornado. However, that doesn't diminish their enthusiasm for the storms. I think it's mainly just knowing when to be excited and when to bite one's tongue and give sympathies and aid to those in need.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10329
2. 24hourprof
7:10 PM GMT on May 07, 2014
Thanks so much! It's good to write again.

Best,

Lee
Member Since: October 24, 2012 Posts: 91 Comments: 803
1. Barefootontherocks
2:31 PM GMT on May 07, 2014
Glad to see this post, Lee Grenci.
And that goes beyond being happy to see a blog from you to complete agreement with what you have to say.

Thank you for writing this.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 154 Comments: 18742

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About 24hourprof

Retired senior lecturer in the Department of Meteorology at Penn State, where he was lead faculty for PSU's online certificate in forecasting.

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