I'm now in New Orleans (2.5 hours late, thanks Continental!) for the AMS Annual Meeting and several friends alerted me to Dianne Sawyer reporting, and emphasizing, earlier this evening there was "no warning" of the overnight tornadoes (see posting below). Here is the video:
This seems to confirm my suspicion that there is a key on journalists' word processors that says "there was no warning" and they simply press that key every time they have to do a story about storms.
Dianne: There was plenty of warning, starting 21 hours before the tornado struck!
Meteorologists really face an uphill battle: The media keeps inaccurately telling people that storm after storm occurs without warning.
The public, who -- outside of the affected area -- doesn't know better, assumes the media reporting is correct.
So, when a tornado warning affects them, they don't act on it. Why should they?! The warnings are no good!
There is a really good book on this subject I could recommend to Dianne....
UPDATE: 9AM Tuesday: Another blog post with the step-by-step of the warning process in Alabama.
UPDATE II: Thank you Capital Weather Gang for the link.