When severe weather threatens the Tri-State, FOX19 always has planning discussions to answer various questions.
What is the main threat? When will it get here? Will the threat be isolated or system wide? Will we cover programming?
All of our conversations have one goal in mind - how do we best serve you, our viewers?
What we are trying to do is strike a balance between informing you and intruding on your life. In some situations, it's a no brainer.
Remember March 2, 2012? Parts of Crittenden, Piner, Peach Grove and most of Moscow were devastated by EF3 and EF4 tornadoes.
We go on the air before the storms arrive and stay on the air non-stop until the danger ends. No one questions this wall-to-wall coverage, because in a situation like this, people will die if they do not have time to take cover.
My most important responsibility as a TV meteorologist is to look at the camera and tell you to take cover now. It doesn't happen often. In 35 years I have had to do that only three times.
No matter how dangerous a severe storm system looks, by the time it gets here it will have changed. They all change.
As I have said many, many times, ALL of the elements have to come together just right for there to be a deadly outbreak.
That is just what happened on Sunday in northern Illinois - a rare deadly, devastating November tornado outbreak.
The news of the powerful killer storms surged through social media as the storm system headed our way.
At the same time it was becoming more and more obvious that the system we would get WOULD NOT be anything at all like Washington, Illinois.
When it was all over, the end result here was scattered. The FOX19 viewing area saw mostly minor damage.
So what was all the fuss about?
Meteorologically speaking it was obvious there was not the slightest chance a tornado like the Illinois EF4 would form here.
The National Weather Service issued six tornado warnings with no clarifying statements that the system was completely different than hours earlier… and most TV meteorologists just followed along.
As far as the National Weather Service goes, their system is either broken or severely outdated. Way too many times do they cry wolf.
That's Reality Check.
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