Some “Inside Baseball” Information

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I won’t bother to rehash everything I said in yesterdays blog concerning the chilly dry weather that has moved on top of us…1) Freeze warnings are in effect for tonight…and probably again tomorrow night… 2) IF you have plants that you can bring inside do so for the next couple of nights… 3) Dry weather is expected till at least Tuesday…if not longer…we’ll have a 30% chance in there for Tuesday, but the that front may do something similar to what happened Monday. A few hundredths here and there. 4) Another chilly shot of air with a freeze is likely by WED of next week.

Last night I watched an interesting seminar that was held at the National Weather Association’s annual meeting in Birmingham, AL. A group of close to 900 TV meteorologists/EMs/NWS/NOAA are attending and while there has been a heavy focus on severe weather, last night was reserved for the citizens impacted by the SE tornados. In particular we were looking at HOW the folks there reacted to the information that was being given to them, in addition we wanted to know how they were obtaining their information, what they did with the information and various other things.

There were roughly 100 or so citizens who were affected by the tornados in attendance. The goal was to survey these folks and then evaluate the results in a real-time setting. The citizens were asked about 40 questions and then had the ability of choosing their responses with a clicker. those results were available within 15 seconds of asking the question. It was very interesting to see. It by no means was perfect in terms of the true sampling of the population involved. For example you had to make the effort to go to this, also there is a high chance that citizens with a higher “weather geek” in them would attend this and then make their opinions known as opposed to folks who really don’t pay attention to the weather events on a daily basis. Also this is a severe weather sensitive area, perhaps the responses would’ve been very different if this occurred in another part of the country. So there were some drawbacks to the way this was conducted. That though, to me was small in comparison to a treasure trove of information that the citizens proved in real time.

The media and the regular attendees of the conference were relegated to the back of the room and were told not to talk, remark or anything. They were strictly observers in the process and that’s exactly what they did. The citizens spoke freely and they had some interesting things to say. I followed the whole thing and my colleagues were tweeting some of the vital details. I copy/pasted those tweets into an email that I sent to the FOX 4 Weather Team so that the team could get an idea about the importance of certain things…I decided to day, with little weather to talk about to share the responses from the Alabama citizens with our blog readers.

So here goes…what do you think?

54% heard through social media/internet.

67% of residents found out about a specific tornado warnings thru tv/radio

76% of residents say they relied on one or more local television station 2 follow the severe weather

13% of respondents said they got weather information from a source other than local TV

31% Relied on Multiple Local TV to follow severe wx, 24% just one station

11% of people in Alabama live tornado warning survey think terrain (mountains/valleys) protects them from a tornado.

When a tornado warning was issued only half took action, the other half looked confirmation, including looking at the sky.

43% of ppl after tornado warn checked sky…49% went to another source…39% called someone…51% took action

Panelist says a real person feels like they are looking out for them, saying TV met is important to them

Twitter & Facebook big source for warnings, especially Twitter during power outages

41% say urgency in broadcaster’s voice…31% say wall-to-wall coverage is most helpful of TV severe wx coverage

What aspect of TV coverage is most important? 81% projected path and times.

81% say projected storm patch and times important to TV coverage of severe wx…45% say live video of tornado

97% of respondents says knowing proximity and path is much more important than other info during tornado.

Public feel they have personal connection w media vs ‘faceless’ NWS- must continue enhancing our relationship for event success!

TV is STILL the resounding choice for severe wx info — graphics, trust in meteorologist, demeanor, etc is important.

On urgency in TV / Radio meteorologist’s voice vs NWR, “Have you heard the voice that comes out of the NOAA Weather Radio?”

24% of residents that had a plan discussed it with their children prior to the tornado

50% of people took action after the tv weather person called out their community or when radar showed the storm close to them

end survey. 

There wasn’t a lot there that truly surprised me, considering the audience that took the survey…some of the things concerning the media were interesting to me/us. Anyway I though you might be interested in some of the “inside baseball” stuff that we talk about amongst ourselves.


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