“Tornado Warnings” Are Serious Business, Don’t Call Us Complaining

I knew as a 4-year-old child that I wanted to be a meteorologist, even if I didn’t know what that word meant then.  I loved weather and wanted to be a television weatherman.  I’m so grateful to be doing what I want to and I like when people trust my forecasting to make decisions in their lives.

This is “Severe Weather Awareness Week” in Iowa (Illinois’ was a few weeks ago).  I’m bringing this up because of the horrific tornadoes moving through the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area this afternoon.

All planes were grounded at Dallas-Fort Worth International airport and passengers are being sheltered away from glass windows.  Some schools are on lock down because it’s not safe for students to go home.

This CNN video from Dallas County shows a tornado picking up a semi-trailer and flinging it through the air like a toy (around the 1:05 point).


As a meteorologist, it frustrates me when we go on the air with a “Tornado Warning” and people start calling the station bitching because they’re missing their program on ABC.  Seriously, folks when you see video like this, are you even intelligent enough to know that we’re not on the air to tick you off?  Yes, we cover more than 25 counties and it may not be occurring in or near your county, but the world doesn’t turn on an axis in your little world either.

Here’s a little lesson for you.

A “watch”, whether it’s a “Severe Thunderstorm” or “Tornado”, means that weather conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms or tornadoes to develop.  This is usually in effect well in advance of the storms and a “Watch” is issued for several hours.

A “Warning” means that severe thunderstorms are occurring or that a tornado has been reported by law enforcement, trained spotters, or the general public, or that Doppler radar has indicated a possible tornado.

I’m blogging and venting about this because I want you to be safe.

I hope my friends in Texas are, too!



8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jackie on April 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I am personally thankful!! My only bitch is my darn cable won’t usually work at that point, so I never get to keep as up to date as I would like!!


  2. Posted by Larry on April 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm



  3. Amen! We appreciate the warnings—living in the middle of nowhere in Bureau County, we don’t have sirens that go off, so we rely on you and our weather radio to be prepared. Thank you for that!


  4. Jackie,

    That is another reason during a severe weather outbreak that we try to include everything on Facebook. That way if people lose cable, their phones and internet on the phones may still work.



  5. Posted by Cathy on April 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I think its awesome that you break in during programs to bring us severe weather updates. I live outside Joy, Illinois in Mercer County and am not able to hear the siren if it goes off. It makes me feel better knowing that someone else is watching out for us. Especially since I have kids and grandkids that I want to be safe. Keep up the good work Anthony and know that you are still my favorite weatherman! 🙂


  6. Posted by Jackie on April 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    I think the Facebook updates are great too!! You know what they say, you can’t fix stupid!!! There’s a bad berry in every bunch, to bad you all have to listen to it!!!


  7. Posted by stacey on April 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I woke up to a severe thunderstorm at 2am last nite & checked the NOAA warnings. Turned out we were under a tornado warning and it was spotted on radar just less than a mile from where we live. I woke my parents up to tell them and they were like “Oh, Okay! Thanks!” They went back to sleep like it was nothing. When I went back to tell them it was spotted in our neighborhood, my Dad went into a rage at me. I’m sorry, I just don’t get it! With all the videos of the Dallas tornados & the semis being thrown in the air, do people just not get how serious these things are? They don’t want anything or anyone disturbing their sleep or their TV programming. Then they act like you are stupid and overreacting when it’s just common sense that when you have a possible tornado fixing to bare down on your neighborhood to get your butt out of bed or off the couch and to a safe location.


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