WSB Weather Radar – FAIL! 2

I am very thankful that the severe weather last night did not do any harm in the North Metro Atlanta area.

Last night was particularly touchy in the southeastern states. Here in Georgia, we watched while the severe weather system moved east from Mississippi to Alabama to the Georgia border. City after town was stricken by tornadoes and people died. My prayers go out to those people who suffered from the weather. We were in a tornado, once, and it is no picnic. You learn to be thankful for just each other.

In the Atlanta metro area, things were different. We tuned to WSB-TV, Channel 2 on our ATT Uverse system to get the latest weather warnings so we would not be caught by surprise.

What we saw was a lot of hyperbolic weather drama and TV meteorologists telling us that the sky was falling, and we better get in our basements NOW! There were reports of tornado touch-downs in Marietta and other spots, but we never saw them. In fact the severe weather fizzled before it got to us in the North Metro area.

Thanks to WSB-TV and doppler weather radar, our warning system was a tremendous fail, last night. We live in the North Fulton County area and the most severe weather we got was an energetic sprinkle of rain. No wind, no tornadoes, and no property damage. In some places there were some trees down, but that happens in regular rain storms around here.

So, what went wrong? The meteorologists were doing their jobs, but I believe they are way too certain of their doppler radar system which has served them well in the past. You see, not only does the doppler system see precipitation, but the system takes that data generated, process it through various algorithms, and predicts near-term weather activity based on its calculations.

Friends, what we are dealing with are MODELS and ALGORITHMS. These are words that mean there is less science involved in the prediction of weather than they would have you believe.  Mere models cannot take into account all the variables in a weather system, and their algorithms are calculations to support those models.

Certainly WSB was erring on the side of safety. My advice to them is to find a way to compare the output of the much ballyhooed Storm Tracker 2 HD interactive doppler radar system to the real world weather.

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2 comments

  1. I saw some reports of the tornadoes out your way on the news, terrible news, thoughts and prayers to those killed by it.

    We’re having bad weather out here too, raining and raining like anything the last week, plenty of flooding, overflowing dams etc. So far 1 fellow is missing.

  2. I just seems to keep coming. In Alabama yesterday a tornado struck the SAME HOUSES that were hit about 10 months ago.

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