Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tornadoes Versus the National Championship Game?

People have no idea the pressure that TV meteorologists are under in a tornado warning situation. I devote an entire chapter to it in my book, Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather. If there are problems with the warnings, people may very well loose their lives.

There is a potential weather situation coming up that will be extremely challenging for the meteorologists at Wichita's KWCH TV (CBS) Monday evening, it it pans out: If the Wichita State Shockers defeat Louisville in the Final Four game Saturday afternoon, they will play in the championship Monday evening.

Preliminary forecast for Monday evening in the KWCH viewing area? Tornadoes.
National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center
Wichitans love -- and I mean love -- Wichita State University basketball and this year's team in particular.  Here is a photo of the team plane departing Mid-Continent Airport for Atlanta yesterday afternoon. Plus, the city is basking in the national attention (today's article in the Wall Street Journal here).
Wichita Eagle photo
Of course, the goal of television meteorologists is to save lives. But, break into the national championship basketball game for storm coverage with the home team playing??!!

I just spoke with KWCH meteorologist Ross Janssen and when I asked, "What are you going to do if tornado warnings are issued?" I first got a nervous laugh. He then said they were "looking at it."The preliminary plan would be to do continuous storm coverage on their sister station KSCW (and advertise it), run "crawls" over the game with each warning, and do live break-ins during the game's commercials.

My wish: The Wheat Shockers make the national championship game but the tornadoes go away -- in favor of a nice rain for the 2013 winter wheat.

1 comment:

  1. I have seen it and heard of people in my local area complain about constant severe weather interruptions by local TV weatherman when they are trying to watch a network TV program.


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