Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Severe Weather... Don't Be Fooled

I really have no changes to what I have posted already.  I fully expect 2 rounds of severe weather.  The first arrives late Wednesday, but the more significant round arrives Thursday.  We'll have the threat for large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes Thursday so please stay weather aware!

It has been awhile since we have had severe weather (with tornadoes), I wanted to go over something I feel is extremely important.  Social media is a fantastic resource for supplemental information.  It's also an outlet for a very few to cause unnecessary panic.  Over the past few years, we have seen an alarming increase in the number of fake pictures sent to us via social media and email.    They are usually horrifying scenes of tornadoes or damage and they go viral on the web sometimes.  I urge you to please be aware of that and know the source you are following has credibility.   I do my very best to make sure the picture is legit.  Here's a picture of one that makes the rounds every year.  It's not fake.  It's a real picture taken by Fred Smith in Lake Okeechobee, FL in 1991.

Fred Smith, Lake Okeechobee 1991
There's even a version of this going around with an oil rig photo-shopped in front of it.  Please know this picture is real, but was taken more than 20 years ago.

Here's something else very, very important.  When reporting severe weather and sending pictures, please follow these guidelines.  You will be helping us a great deal AND the National Weather Service. 

  1. First and foremost, NEVER put yourself in any situation where you are not safe.
  2. When sending information or a picture, please include both the location and the time it was taken.
  3. On twitter, please make sure you address it to @katv_weather AND @NWSLittleRock
  4. Also, during a severe weather event, I usually monitor the twitter hashtag #ARWX.  Please use that on each tweet. 
  5. When reporting hail, please use the following chart to indicate hail size.

The goal is to get real information out to people ahead of the storm so they know what to expect.  We can look at radar all day long, but nothing beats knowing what's happening on the ground.  That's where you can help, but PLEASE don't put yourself in any kind of danger.  It's not worth it.

I really hope this doesn't come together, but it's looking more and more like severe weather will happen and the slight risk may even be upgraded to a moderate risk soon.  Our goal is simple... SAVE LIVES AND PROPERTY.


Doug in HS said...


According to the Sentinel Record (Hot Springs) today, the city of Hot Springs is going to test recently-installed sirens in downtown Hot Springs tomorrow. According to to today's article, the test is going to last approximately a half-hour.

In your professional opinion, do you think this is a good idea on day of potential risk? My concern would be that possible alerts later in the day would be ignored.

Mark said...

And as Ned said on the air one evening, take pictures in landscape (horizontal or 'sideways' and not portrait/vertical/'up and down') because they not only display better but usually show the horizon (hence horizontal) better and a wider view (obviously).

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