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A busy night ahead, and overexcitement…

Looks like tonight is going to be a rough one, particularly after midnight. I just saw that the National Weather Service is conducting a conference call for broadcast meteorologists at 4:30 today — there’s a risk of fairly potent thunderstorms tonight, with the possibility of tornadoes. A peek at GRLevel3 does indeed indicate two active tornado warnings in southwest Alabama, and taking a look at the radar image does indicate some fairly intense rotation within these storms, with three — count ’em, three — Tornado Vortex Signatures being reported by NEXRAD. Elsewhere in the line of storms, I see radar indicating velocities of up to 95 knots about 4400 feet from the surface — e-gad!

On a related topic: Ale pointed me to a thread on a Redskins forum that really lays into some meteorologists for getting excited about potentially destructive weather events on air. On the one hand, I can definitely feel what the meteorologists feel — this is their job at its most intense, it’s a real rush. Heck, we all know how I get during hurricane season. But on the other hand, an event that is “exciting” to one meteorologist may be extremely frightening for the 99% of others who aren’t hardcore into the weather. On-air meteorologists have a responsibility to tell the facts of a weather situation. They can convey the gravity of the situation, but should always be careful to keep their inner meterological libido in check, keeping in mind that they’re reporting to a general audience who aren’t all storm spotters ready to go “YEEHAH!” and fire up their personal Dopplers. :)

By Jared Smith

Jared Smith is a web developer and weather enthusiast living in Charleston, SC.

8 replies on “A busy night ahead, and overexcitement…”

Yeah, I agree with the excitedness of weather junkies. I mean, look at Bill Walsh on Channel 5 whenever there’s something “exciting” going on. You can tell he’s riding that adrenaline rush.

I consider myself a weather nut, but I look like a n00b compared to you, Jared. :p Though I have been known to be standing on my roof during a few of those near-hit hurricanes. You know, the wind is blowing 40+ but there’s almost no rain at all. All the city glow lighting up the bottom of the storm in a dark, dark orange and enough lighting flashes (though no visible bolts) to make you think you’re at a rave somewhere. ‘Tis fun.

Yeah, I agree with the excitedness of weather junkies. I mean, look at Bill Walsh on Channel 5 whenever there’s something “exciting” going on. You can tell he’s riding that adrenaline rush.

I consider myself a weather nut, but I look like a n00b compared to you, Jared. :p Though I have been known to be standing on my roof during a few of those near-hit hurricanes. You know, the wind is blowing 40+ but there’s almost no rain at all. All the city glow lighting up the bottom of the storm in a dark, dark orange and enough lighting flashes (though no visible bolts) to make you think you’re at a rave somewhere. ‘Tis fun.

I posted an extra blurb on LCB, I know I don’t particularly pay attention to the weather on the weekends and certainly not to what happens at night.(Of course, we’re non tv-watching freaks, so we would miss out on the hype anyhow.)

I posted an extra blurb on LCB, I know I don’t particularly pay attention to the weather on the weekends and certainly not to what happens at night.(Of course, we’re non tv-watching freaks, so we would miss out on the hype anyhow.)

I hate commenting twice, but I didn’t think about it earlier. You know, Jared, as much of a weather nut as you are, I’d be shocked if you’re not a certified weather spotter. My brother’s friend is a licensed Ham radio operator and got his weather spotter certification. Makes it really easy for him to report things since he can just hop on Ham and make the situation known.

I hate commenting twice, but I didn’t think about it earlier. You know, Jared, as much of a weather nut as you are, I’d be shocked if you’re not a certified weather spotter. My brother’s friend is a licensed Ham radio operator and got his weather spotter certification. Makes it really easy for him to report things since he can just hop on Ham and make the situation known.

I don’t have any Ham equipment (yet) and I am, amazingly enough, not a certified spotter. I know they had classes up in Moncks Corner recently, but I’m holding out to see if they do the classes closer to Charleston. I definitely have been looking into it — may as well, right? :)

Thanks for the blurb, Heather — the overnight stuff is definitely the most dangerous, and it’s great to get the word out in any way possible.

I don’t have any Ham equipment (yet) and I am, amazingly enough, not a certified spotter. I know they had classes up in Moncks Corner recently, but I’m holding out to see if they do the classes closer to Charleston. I definitely have been looking into it — may as well, right? :)

Thanks for the blurb, Heather — the overnight stuff is definitely the most dangerous, and it’s great to get the word out in any way possible.

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