Do too many severe storm warnings cry wolf?

  • Article by: BILL McAULIFFE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 14, 2012 - 4:01 PM

The Weather Service is trying learn how to get people to respond when tornadoes pose imminent danger.

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toddhans11Apr. 13, 1211:27 PM

Please, do not keep the weather radio going all night or sirens with the warnings that are not in the county or in an adjacent county, and if it has already passed, do not keep it going. I have had to shut off the weather radio on more than one occasion as a storm that is no where near us keeps that weather radio blaring off and on all the time. If it was in the next county and on the way here, I would not have to unplug it almost every stormy day.

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joepikeApr. 13, 1211:29 PM

Didn't bother to read the article, don't listen to the sirens anymore, either. Media hype in both cases, not worth my time.

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mnmaidApr. 13, 1211:32 PM

Absolutely, there are far too many false alarms. Sirens sound in an entire county, when only a small portion of the county may be affected (especially Hennepin County, which is massive). There needs to be less widespread warning, and much more area-specific warning, instead. Also, sirens should be used only for actual tornadoes, and not severe thunderstorms with only a "potential" for tornadoes. Too many times sirens are sounded for radar-indicated rotation, when there aren't even funnel clouds visible from the ground. Even if sirens aren't sounded, if you spend any time watching aviation weather (KTCA) they sound a warning sound for thunderstorms. It's been too much, and yes, we're desensitized to it. Probably the biggest mistake ever made was several years ago when sirens would be sounded for a snow emergency. Fortunately, they put a stop to that the same winter. It's going to take a lot less warning and a lot more fine-tuning to train the next generation to pay more attention to the warnings.

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SHLApr. 13, 1211:35 PM

I feel all broadcast stations should follow the same colors for warnings...red for tornado and orange for severe thunderstorm warnings...this would eliminate some of the confusion...I'm surprised the government hasn't figured this out by now!

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StarquestApr. 14, 1212:13 AM

@SHL You're asking the government to dictate what colors a television station should display. Uh-huh.

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jarlmnApr. 14, 1212:15 AM

The weather service indeed has the technology to be more precise in it's warning areas. Yet, Mother Nature is fickle and storms can turn on a dime. Ignore the warnings at your own risk. (I love how a risk-adverse society, so stupidly ignores warnings)

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darkcloudApr. 14, 1212:46 AM

Absolutely "wolf" gets cried way to often. People get sick and tired of having their football games, baseball games, NASCAR races, etc getting interrupted for a storm that won't effect them 99% of the time! Put the the little blurb on the bottom of the screen, but quit breaking into the coverage for something that isn't going to effect 99% of the people watching! Seriously, every time that happens I switch to cable channels. If the weather is serious enough I will listen to the radio or go online to find out.

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mnmaggiemnApr. 14, 12 2:40 AM

False alarm or not, theres nothing wrong with turning off your tv show or video game and going into your shelter for your safety. Annoying as it is, it may save your life one day. I would rather a false alarm than no warning. I really dont want words such as not survivable to be something my child hears as I am trying to usher her to the basement either. In the end, if you dont go to safety and die, that is your own stupidity

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southside418Apr. 14, 12 3:37 AM

My friend calls the excessive TV interruptions and warnings for storms hundreds of miles away, etc "weather terrorism." Meaning most of us take it like the same threat of a plane being taken down again by terrorists. It seems to be so fear based and often unwarranted, that we just dont think its going to actually happen. Overreaction and media ratings. When I was a kid, the siren meant GET DOWNSTAIRS. Now it goes off so much it means cancel the picnic and grab your camera.

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mrflynn6Apr. 14, 12 7:05 AM

I agree, way too many false alarms. We've had sirens go off for storms 30 miles away, while the skies were cloud-free where we were. Most people I know hear a siren and at least turn on the tv or check their computers but feel danger is not eminent and don't take shelter. Also, in my many, many years of living in the upper Midwest, we have "needed" to take shelter 2 times in over 40 years and even then we didn't have any damage. Maybe change the siren system for a short blast if a tornado is in the county and the longer blasts for specific areas where tornadoes or damaging winds are eminent?

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