Friday, June 08, 2007

The Curse of Perfection

"Well let me enlighten you people! This baby has satellite comlink. We've got on-board pulse Doppler, we've got NEXRAD real time. Today, we're gonna make history. So stick around. Cuz' the days of sniffin' the dirt are over." - Jonas Miller, Twister

And so goes the battle between technology and instinct.

Yesterday the word got out that there was a chance of some really severe weather in our area. All the signs looked right for a few days, and the media weather-panic machine was going into full "storm alert" mode. The one local station (which I've written about before, because they are evil) even has their meteorologists doing blogs on their websites, which the public can lave comments on.

Well, starting Wednesday the comments really began about the possibility of severe weather for Thursday. And yesterday morning they really ramped up, with some of the public comments bordering on really scared and frightened individuals.

So I got on there around 10.30 in the morning and tried to be the voice of calm and reason. That went over sort of okay, but there were some people on there - and I don't know their credentials - who were going on about how bad it was going to be in the area later in the evening and overnight. I kept up with the "everything's going to be fine," and at one point I basically said that there wasn't going to be any severe weather. Well, one voice in a choir isn't heard. And I said it more than once.


So I continue to make little comments there throughout the day, and in the meantime I'm on a weather forum talking about how I don't think we're going to get much. oh sure, there's tornado watches/warnings to the west in Wisconsin, but we have big old Lake Michigan between us, and it's water is still pretty cold. Storms that attempt to cross the lake don't usually make it, especially those that try it overnight when there's no heating from the sun. So despite what the meteorologists and the computers were saying, I didn't think we would get anything. Heck, I didn't even get out my chaser/spotter stuff.

In fact, at the 6pm news, the "evil media" station's meteorologist was still talking big, severe storms late at night, but the other station (which is not as evil) had their meteorologist talking about the storms moving to the south of us, and perhaps the local area getting nothing.

Well, just after 11pm the SPC (Storm Prediction Center) posted a tornado watch for our area until 6am. I thought it was a waste of a watch, and didn't pay any attention to it, and went to bed at my regular time.

Cut to 7.00am. I get out of bed, and look out the window. The pavement was wet (well, damp) but not soaked. The rain gauge said .02 inches of rain. Our patio, which floods when we get downpours, was dry. So there were no storms overnight, and especially no severe ones.

Once again, the media was crying wolf, and I was the voice of "reason." But since "Wolf!!" was being sounded so loud, I wasn't being heard.

So all these people yesterday were panicking for nothing.


I hate being right all the time. People just don’t understand what a burden it really is. :)

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