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Author Topic: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news  (Read 18659 times)

roadman65

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Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« on: May 15, 2014, 03:30:27 PM »

I was just watching MeTV to catch Part Two of a two part episode of The Big Valley when a local news agency broke in just to report about severe thunderstorms in Volusia County, FL!  Wow, big news to interrupt over 15 minuets of regular programing!  I did not know thunderstorms, especially in Florida, is the story of the day considering thunderstorms have been happening since the world began.  Heck here in the Sunshine State thunderstorms are the norm and not an acception.

Now it cannot be about ratings as special reports do not get sponsored. In fact the commercials that the sponsors paid for never get aired.  If its about safety, they can do it in the ticker on the bottom of the screen or just break in for a second.  Then again its only the past few years.  Storms of greater magnitude has never warranted such attention from the local news over the decades since TV began, yet lately it is breaking news.

No wonder why this world is the way it is!  Too much nonsense and not enough worry on the important stuff.
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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2014, 03:42:06 PM »

I was just watching MeTV to catch Part Two of a two part episode of The Big Valley when a local news agency broke in just to report about severe thunderstorms in Volusia County, FL!  Wow, big news to interrupt over 15 minuets of regular programing!  I did not know thunderstorms, especially in Florida, is the story of the day considering thunderstorms have been happening since the world began.  Heck here in the Sunshine State thunderstorms are the norm and not an acception.

Now it cannot be about ratings as special reports do not get sponsored. In fact the commercials that the sponsors paid for never get aired.  If its about safety, they can do it in the ticker on the bottom of the screen or just break in for a second.  Then again its only the past few years.  Storms of greater magnitude has never warranted such attention from the local news over the decades since TV began, yet lately it is breaking news.

No wonder why this world is the way it is!  Too much nonsense and not enough worry on the important stuff.
I'm betting that the nets are hoping that increased storm coverage will lead to increased viewership for their regular newscasts.
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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2014, 03:56:49 PM »

This reminds me of two really annoying things my cable provider does.  They have frequent tests of their emergency systems, sometimes several times in one day.  This has already trained me to automatically ignore an alert whenever it comes across.  Also, when there's a real emergency, severe weather, they play the stupid alert sound and completely block out the television audio, even if it's actual useful information from the television weathercaster.

The weekly test should be weekly, maybe late at night.  There should never be four or five "weekly" tests in one day.  And the alert sound shouldn't completely block the audio so that we miss useful information being reported.

I miss the quiet ticker at the bottom of the screen, and breaking in only during really serious situations.  A year ago today, we had major damage in this area from a large tornado outbreak, something worthy of interrupting programming.  However, the frequent alerts blocked the audio for several seconds at a time when it was really important to hear it.  I agree that they don't need to break programming for 15 or 20 minutes to talk about broken windows and downed tree limbs.
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jakeroot

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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 04:02:29 PM »

Have you seen the Weather Channel or their website? Normally, I'm not one to speculate on the interests of news media, but there seems to be a hidden agenda of "scaring people". Here are the 14 Front page stories on the Weather Channel today:

- Is This a Threat to America?
- Massive Oil Spill Coats LA Streets
- EVACUATIONS ORDERED (full caps)
- Photos: California Burning
- Conditions Expected to Worsen
- Flooding Ends in Tragedy, Hundreds Evacuated
- What You Need to Know About the Flower Moon (what?)
- Year-Round Wildfire Threat Ahead?
- This House Has a Secret
- Measles Vaccine Clears Woman's Cancer
- Are We Ready for a New Threat?
- MINE DISASTER: Families Burying Victims
- Tornado Levels Farmstead: 2 Injured
- Flooding Plagues Several States

As you can see, the stories get slightly less "frightening" as you click away, but of course you are too glued to the ridiculous over-the-top headlines.

My point being, your local news agency is just doing what the cool thing is now.
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Brandon

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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2014, 04:17:31 PM »

"If it bleeds, it leads."
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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2014, 04:47:56 PM »

Have you seen the Weather Channel or their website? Normally, I'm not one to speculate on the interests of news media, but there seems to be a hidden agenda of "scaring people". Here are the 14 Front page stories on the Weather Channel today:

- Is This a Threat to America?
- Massive Oil Spill Coats LA Streets
- EVACUATIONS ORDERED (full caps)
- Photos: California Burning
- Conditions Expected to Worsen
- Flooding Ends in Tragedy, Hundreds Evacuated
- What You Need to Know About the Flower Moon (what?)
- Year-Round Wildfire Threat Ahead?
- This House Has a Secret
- Measles Vaccine Clears Woman's Cancer
- Are We Ready for a New Threat?
- MINE DISASTER: Families Burying Victims
- Tornado Levels Farmstead: 2 Injured
- Flooding Plagues Several States

As you can see, the stories get slightly less "frightening" as you click away, but of course you are too glued to the ridiculous over-the-top headlines.

My point being, your local news agency is just doing what the cool thing is now.
IMO, The Weather Channel started its network decay when NBC bought it in 2008. After that, they began adding more non-news to the schedule (IIRC, there is at least one SCRIPTED show on the schedule), and became far more sensationalistic in its reporting style. It gets particularly bad during Hurricane Season, when even weak storms with little threat to land are treated as harbingers of the apocalypse. Hurricanes Irene and Sandy did nothing to help the situation.
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jakeroot

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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2014, 05:32:34 PM »

..even weak storms with little threat to land are treated as harbingers of the apocalypse. Hurricanes Irene and Sandy did nothing to help the situation.

I'm still trying to figure out where the name "Super-Storm" came from. Was it invented for Sandy because it wasn't a hurricane? Once again blowing things out of proportion, it seems.

And yes, once NBC bought the joint, things fell apart. I remember when Jim Cantore was just some chrome-dome reporting on thundersnow. Now, thanks to NBC, he's practically a celebrity, up there with the ranks of Al Roker. And for what? I'm not saying he's a bad meteorologist, but I think he's enjoying the spotlight shining on him a little too much.
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tdindy88

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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 05:47:50 PM »


I'm still trying to figure out where the name "Super-Storm" came from. Was it invented for Sandy because it wasn't a hurricane? Once again blowing things out of proportion, it seems.


Sandy was a hurricane but quickly died off after reaching land. Eventually the storm was simply an extra-tropical cyclone and finally a simple low pressure system, but that doesn't roll off the tongue as well as "super-storm."
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jakeroot

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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2014, 05:49:24 PM »

that doesn't roll off the tongue as well as "super-storm."

That's news media in a nutshell, IMO.
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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2014, 07:08:16 PM »

I'm still trying to figure out where the name "Super-Storm" came from. Was it invented for Sandy because it wasn't a hurricane? Once again blowing things out of proportion, it seems.

While I don't care for media hype, I do think that Sandy was in a special category.  Besides the fact that it hit a densely populated area, the storm itself was fascinating to watch.  It retained an internal warm core even while combining with an extratropical cyclone.  This very unusual evolution enable the storm to hit with the force of a hurricane and the size of a winter storm.  Hurricanes, warm-core storms, are rarely associated with snow.  This was an exceptional storm which I believe was worthy of an exceptional designation (like NASA Road 1 in Texas).
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Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2014, 07:10:23 PM »

"If it bleeds, it leads."

Lately, even if it drools, spits, leaks, winks, or snores...it leads.

jakeroot

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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2014, 07:22:26 PM »

I'm still trying to figure out where the name "Super-Storm" came from. Was it invented for Sandy because it wasn't a hurricane? Once again blowing things out of proportion, it seems.

While I don't care for media hype, I do think that Sandy was in a special category.  Besides the fact that it hit a densely populated area, the storm itself was fascinating to watch.  It retained an internal warm core even while combining with an extratropical cyclone.  This very unusual evolution enable the storm to hit with the force of a hurricane and the size of a winter storm.  Hurricanes, warm-core storms, are rarely associated with snow.  This was an exceptional storm which I believe was worthy of an exceptional designation (like NASA Road 1 in Texas).

On second thought, after doing a bit of research, it appears that Sandy was pretty destructive. It killed a lot more people than I thought it did. Maybe living on the west coast I just didn't pay attention when it occurred.
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wxfree

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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2014, 07:25:55 PM »

I'm still trying to figure out where the name "Super-Storm" came from. Was it invented for Sandy because it wasn't a hurricane? Once again blowing things out of proportion, it seems.

While I don't care for media hype, I do think that Sandy was in a special category.  Besides the fact that it hit a densely populated area, the storm itself was fascinating to watch.  It retained an internal warm core even while combining with an extratropical cyclone.  This very unusual evolution enable the storm to hit with the force of a hurricane and the size of a winter storm.  Hurricanes, warm-core storms, are rarely associated with snow.  This was an exceptional storm which I believe was worthy of an exceptional designation (like NASA Road 1 in Texas).

On second thought, after doing a bit of research, it appears that Sandy was pretty destructive. It killed a lot more people than I thought it did. Maybe living on the west coast I just didn't pay attention when it occurred.

A hurricane/blizzard with a tunnel-flooding storm surge and three feet of snow in the mountains is quite a beast, not easily categorized.
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vdeane

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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2014, 08:20:06 PM »

Plus northeast insurance companies won't pay for hurricane/tropical storm/etc. damages.  I believe that's the primary reason for the term "super storm".
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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2014, 09:20:57 PM »

I was just watching MeTV to catch Part Two of a two part episode of The Big Valley when a local news agency broke in just to report about severe thunderstorms in Volusia County, FL!

So which was it? A "simple thunderstorm" as your subject states, or a severe thunderstorm?
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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2014, 09:26:53 PM »

"If it bleeds, it leads."

Lately, even if it drools, spits, leaks, winks, or snores...it leads.

"We all know that crap is king"  -Don Henley
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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2014, 09:40:06 PM »

"If it bleeds, it leads."

Lately, even if it drools, spits, leaks, winks, or snores...it leads.

"We all know that crap is king"  -Don Henley

Amen, brother.  Glad I do not own a television.
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Scott5114

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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2014, 09:59:45 PM »

I was just watching MeTV to catch Part Two of a two part episode of The Big Valley when a local news agency broke in just to report about severe thunderstorms in Volusia County, FL!

So which was it? A "simple thunderstorm" as your subject states, or a severe thunderstorm?

In Oklahoma, at least, there's little difference. A severe thunderstorm is the usual kind.

I get my weather direct from the National Weather Service for this reason. NOAA is much less likely to sensationalize than a commercial weather station. I can think of a number of instances where the commercial stations have forecasted apocalyptic conditions while NOAA issues a Slight Risk HWO, and then nothing actually ends up happening.
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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2014, 12:32:26 AM »

I was just watching MeTV to catch Part Two of a two part episode of The Big Valley when a local news agency broke in just to report about severe thunderstorms in Volusia County, FL!

So which was it? A "simple thunderstorm" as your subject states, or a severe thunderstorm?

In Oklahoma, at least, there's little difference. A severe thunderstorm is the usual kind.

I get my weather direct from the National Weather Service for this reason. NOAA is much less likely to sensationalize than a commercial weather station. I can think of a number of instances where the commercial stations have forecasted apocalyptic conditions while NOAA issues a Slight Risk HWO, and then nothing actually ends up happening.

It's less likely, but it does happen.  I remember a discussion from NOAA, either NHC or the local NWS office, that New Orleans could "cease to exist" as a result of an approaching hurricane.  I think it was Ivan.

In the storms that hit around here a year ago, one of the warnings described an "extremely large and incredibly dangerous tornado."  These tornadoes were EF-3 and EF-4, with some well-built houses swept clean down to the foundation, so this wasn't hype.

Around Granbury this was a mass casualty event.  There weren't enough ambulances for all the injuries, so they were reserved for serious injuries.  School buses were brought in to ferry less severely injured people to hospitals.  Thinking back on that night, it was quite an event.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 12:38:57 AM by wxfree »
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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2014, 12:42:12 AM »

I've known local media to interrupt scheduled programming for severe weather for my whole life. Granted, I'm younger than the majority of the members of this forum, but I still find it odd that that's abnormal in some parts of the country. If the storm is bad enough that it produces crazy wind, hail, and tornadoes, it makes perfect sense to me to stop airing prime time TV to inform people of the potentially harmful weather.

It should be noted that our local NBC affiliate only interrupts programming for the worst of storms. On more than one occasion, I have been surprised to see scheduled shows air instead of the breaking weather news.
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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2014, 10:11:16 AM »

"If it bleeds, it leads."

Lately, even if it drools, spits, leaks, winks, or snores...it leads.
Or if it's on Twitter - which seems to be the "investigative source" most media outlets rely on these days
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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2014, 12:05:27 PM »

There's a video making the rounds on Facebook this week (I haven't seen it yet) that shows an anchor going off on people who complained about severe weather warnings interrupting a television show.

It reminded me of someone I used to work with about 13 years ago. She recorded soap operas on the VCR during the day to watch later, so it was rare that she got to see them live when they aired. We are in the Lexington, Ky. TV market, which covers a big chunk of central, south-central and southeastern Kentucky. We were off for July 4th and it just so happened there was a severe weather outbreak that day, with several tornado warnings issued for areas to the south of Lexington. Naturally the normal programming was interrupted with the bulletins. The next day, this co-worker came in complaining about the weather warnings interrupting her soap operas, and one of her biggest complaints was that the bad weather wasn't even where she lived but a few counties away.

It is true that local TV stations will try to outdo one another for weather coverage. There's a running joke in Kentucky about the way the Louisville stations do it. I've been in Louisville for conferences a few times when bad weather hit the area and I got to see first-hand how over the top they are.
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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2014, 12:11:14 PM »

It could be worse...at least WKYT-TV (CBS) channel 27 isn't naming winter storms. WFSB-TV (CBS) channel 3 of Hartford and the old Traveler's Weather Service before them always have. At least 40 years, long before The Weather Channel even existed!
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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2014, 12:12:55 PM »

Plus northeast insurance companies won't pay for hurricane/tropical storm/etc. damages.  I believe that's the primary reason for the term "super storm".

Insurance companies don't pay out claims based on how the media categorizes them.  Insurance claims are paid or rejected based on the coverage the homeowner purchased. Typically, flooding isn't a covered loss. Wind damage is generally covered, unless the storm was declared a hurricane based on the National Weather Service's determination where the center of the storm made landfall, and/or what the recorded wind speeds were near the location of the damage.  At that point, the claiment would need hurricane coverage to be covered.

This storm...Insurance Companies paid out over $25 Billion.
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Re: Simple thunderstorms are now breaking news
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2014, 12:42:52 PM »

I was just watching MeTV to catch Part Two of a two part episode of The Big Valley when a local news agency broke in just to report about severe thunderstorms in Volusia County, FL!  Wow, big news to interrupt over 15 minuets of regular programing!  I did not know thunderstorms, especially in Florida, is the story of the day considering thunderstorms have been happening since the world began.  Heck here in the Sunshine State thunderstorms are the norm and not an acception.

Now it cannot be about ratings as special reports do not get sponsored. In fact the commercials that the sponsors paid for never get aired.  If its about safety, they can do it in the ticker on the bottom of the screen or just break in for a second.  Then again its only the past few years.  Storms of greater magnitude has never warranted such attention from the local news over the decades since TV began, yet lately it is breaking news.

No wonder why this world is the way it is!  Too much nonsense and not enough worry on the important stuff.


Two points - those were severe storms, not just simple thunderstorms. And also there were tornado warnings for south Volusia and north Brevard.
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