I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this monstrosity earlier this evening:
The red polygon that you see on the radar image above is a Severe Thunderstorm Warning that was issued by the National Weather Service in Knoxville, TN at 5:55 PM EST this evening.
The problem? Well, there are several...
First, the warning covered 30 counties, yes 30 counties - basically the entire Eastern one-quarter of the state and the vast majority of that office's area of responsibility! The whole purpose of the National Weather Service's revamped, polygon based warning program was to narrow the scope of weather warnings and focus on only the areas to be directly affected.
Second, the storms that were "warned" on weren't even severe at the time...
What exactly is my problem with all of this? Situations like this one are precisely the reason why people are getting killed during actual severe thunderstorm events across this country. Many citizens have no faith or confidence in the weather warning system, and who can blame them after seeing a joke like this???
Fast forward to this hour, and there are thunderstorms that actually pose a risk of severe weather across much of the same area. There are warnings in effect, issued by the same office, and covering a much more focused area (wow - it's like somebody pulled out the polygon manual all of the sudden). The question is...are people listening now after what they saw earlier?
Call it "crying wolf syndrome" or whatever you want to call it...it's a serious problem, and one that must be addressed before any more lives are lost.
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