Darwin Award Candidates: TV viewers complain about missing "Bachelor in Paradise" due to Tornado Warning

Indianapolis ABC television affiliate WRTV wanted its viewers to see the complaints it received after preempting Bachelor in Paradise last night for report on a series of tornadoes that touched down nearby, so it posted some on its website.

Bachelor in Paradise is where some of the rejected Bachelor/Bachelorette suitors go to drink, mingle and canoodle their way to another shot at love on national television. Source: TVSpy.


But wait, there’s more…

torwarning-WRTV-twitter3 torwarning-WRTV-twitter2

Maybe these folks didn’t know they could watch it online later, here. In today’s digital age, there’s no reason to think TV is a linear timeline anymore. They would rather risk getting mowed down by a tornado because they are unaware instead of waiting I suppose.

This is another clear cut case of “warning fatigue” (something NOAA recognizes) combined with fixation on something that is pointless entertainment. And, it isn’t just in the USA, Britain has it too.

My friend Mike Smith speaks of this problem in his book Warnings: The true story of how science tamed the weather.

I’ve read it, and I’ve lived and experienced much of what he’s written about in the quest to make forecasting, especially severe weather forecasting, more accurate, timely, and specific. For those of us that prefer practical approaches over the rampant speculation on mere wisps of connections to climate this book is for you.

I recall once early in my career that I had to go on live and interrupt 60 Minutes to deliver a tornado warning. I got a few calls as well.

Interestingly, while “warning fatigue” was well known long ago when too many weather bulletins occur and the populace tunes out because they weren’t personally affected, so it goes today with the increasingly shrill climate warnings we see in the media.

The public is starting to tune those out too.

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August 16, 2016 10:19 am

Yes, you can watch episodes of many shows the next day on line, frequently at extra expense ala CBS app. However, we are also warned about tornadoes and other disasters by the same digital means. So this argument cuts both ways. Moreover, as those of us who live in tornado alley can attest scrolls across the bottom of the screen are quite effective and don’t disrupt viewers attention. Now if there is a tornado on the ground threatening a community that is another issue requiring an all media on deck approach.

Bryan A
Reply to  CMS
August 16, 2016 12:23 pm

Shoot, all ya gotta do is put a TV in yer shelter. They got some real nice ones with gene’s an showers an all, just run yer TV cable down there too.
Then ya can watch the news too iffen ya wanna once the Batchellor(ette) is over

Bryan A
Reply to  Bryan A
August 16, 2016 12:26 pm

What I don’t like is when TheBumma interrupts Big Brother

Leo Smith
Reply to  Bryan A
August 16, 2016 4:40 pm

Thought the Bummer WAS Big Brother…

Reply to  CMS
August 16, 2016 2:43 pm

Hey, die happy – why get educated and learn to think? Bachelor in Paradise is the perfect make believe.
You’re missing the “absolute-below-the carpet-lowest-common-denominator” brain dead level vacuum at work. It’s a matter of recognizing the day-to-day reality of Reality TV’s culture of addiction to here-and-now gratification to mind killing make believe.
To the extent there’s any form of coherent thinking going at all in these segments of the population it’s perfectly OK to die while insisting on watching their preferred mind-killing pig fill schlock…

Carbon BIgfoot
August 16, 2016 10:20 am


Tom in Florida
Reply to  Carbon BIgfoot
August 16, 2016 12:30 pm

For all you youngens, the Heidi travesty had nothing to do with the weather. Fortunately the NFL rectified that situation and now games must be shown to the end.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 16, 2016 2:15 pm

A bit more info for those who don’t know.
The pertinent quote:
“The Heidi Game or Heidi Bowl was an American Football League game played on November 17, 1968, between the Oakland Raiders and the visiting New York Jets. The game was notable for its finish, in which Oakland scored two touchdowns in the final minute to win the game 43–32, but was named for a decision by the game’s television broadcaster, NBC, to break away from its coverage of the game on the east coast to broadcast the television film Heidi, causing many viewers to miss the Raiders’ comeback.”
Football fans had a right to complain.
Those complaining about a tornado warning making them miss anything on TV, well, one of the complainers did say something about rethinking priorities…..
(Or maybe this is a reflection of what happens when all the dire CAGW warnings have fallen flat?)

Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 16, 2016 3:01 pm

I’d rather watch Heidi or even paint dry instead of American Football

Reply to  Carbon BIgfoot
August 16, 2016 5:24 pm

Yeah. Back when football was football and … Oh look a musical.

Reply to  Fraiser
August 17, 2016 9:34 am

What other kind of football is there?
You surely don’t follow the kind where there is a stadium full of people watching the grass grow?

Edward Katz
Reply to  Carbon BIgfoot
August 16, 2016 6:23 pm

That was 1969, wasn’t it? Final score: Oakland 32, NY Jets 29, I think.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Edward Katz
August 17, 2016 7:34 am

Nope, Gunga Din has it right.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Edward Katz
August 17, 2016 7:35 am
August 16, 2016 10:22 am

Interestingly, while “warning fatigue” was well known long ago […]

I’m thinking Aesop’s Fables and The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Warning fatigue has been known for a very long time.
Weather warning fatigue is dangerous. I’m glad you brought out the Darwin Award aspect. I pay more attention to warnings now due to WUWT, which does a good job of covering severe weather events and the conditions leading up to them.

August 16, 2016 10:34 am

Nowadays it seems, if ten cows fart in a Canadian field at the same time, The Weather Network puts out a “Severe Weather Alert” !!

John M. Ware
August 16, 2016 10:43 am

There has been a tendency (or temptation) recently to exaggerate and blow out of proportion whatever weather is coming in. Occasionally, of course, a weather event really is serious, so a high-powered warning is warranted. But a garden-variety thunderstorm? A couple of inches of snow? A 45-mph wind gust? These are common occurrences, nothing worthy of interrupting a program or even emphasizing on the weather segment. A tornado bearing down on a town or village? That’s a different matter entirely, a life-or-death situation requiring warning as soon as possible to as many people as possible. “Bachelorette Boops-a-daisy” can go hang for the few minutes it takes to tell me where the tornado is now, where it’s headed, whether and how soon it might hit my house. TV’s fun programs can be pleasant enough, but rational adults can do without them at need (power outage, for example). A real warning about real danger is essential, the primary purpose of mass communication, and it overcalls all routine broadcasts.

Reply to  John M. Ware
August 16, 2016 12:34 pm

My weather radio had an alarm that went off for warnings. It used to be for a severe storm of some sort, but recently they demanded my attention for things like Red Flag Warnings (which basically means don’t burn brush; it is too dry and windy and the fire will spread.) “OK”, I sighed to myself at 1:00 AM. “I won’t get out of bed and start fires in the woods.” But the warnings got more and more trivial. The warnings went off at 4:00 AM for stuff like patches of fog or icy bridges, to warn early morning commuters. I’m pretty grumpy before I have a coffee, when my sleep is interrupted. Is it warning fatigue that silenced that old radio? (Or is it morning fatigue?)

Reply to  Caleb
August 16, 2016 12:44 pm

…Or was it a sudden impact with the wall ?

Reply to  Caleb
August 17, 2016 7:44 am

My phone does that now…no weather radio needed.

Reply to  Menicholas
August 18, 2016 9:25 pm

Fortunately I only recently got a cell phone, and haven’t a clue how to use it. Mostly it is my camera.

Reply to  John M. Ware
August 16, 2016 2:29 pm

Some media are apparently starting to get it. Global TV coverage of the Louisiana rain and floods did not use “unprecedented” or “worst ever” once. They used “biggest event in living memory of the residents”. You could almost see the broadcasters gritting their teeth as the said that. It would appear a new editorial policy is evolving at Global TV. Quite surprising but possibly due to the warming fatigue effect.

Reply to  canabianblog
August 17, 2016 5:20 am

I think that people are constantly fact-checking their claims more and they’re being called out on their alarmist rhetoric and becoming more wary of using sensationalist terminology. With the Ellicott City flooding, people were very quick to point out how flood-prone that city actually is and that the “once in a thousand year” event had happened over and over again in the last 100 years.
They can only take the fear-mongering so far before it turns absurd.

Reply to  John M. Ware
August 16, 2016 3:30 pm

Once TV channels realized they could hype the weather for ratings, disasters from all over were featured. Fox does not have a Weather Report, rather it is a “Weather Alert” from the “Extreme Weather Center”. The other day I heard the extreme weather reporter advise umbrellas for the NYC area.

Reply to  John M. Ware
August 16, 2016 6:46 pm

All part of the effort to instill the proper fear of the impending doom of global warming. You will also notice the NWS has increased the severeness of the verbiage associated with each event to emphasize the expected danger. I believe all of this is to emphasize how much worse and more dangerous the weather is due to global warming.

bill johnston
Reply to  usurbrain
August 17, 2016 6:04 am

Isn’t that called “language inflation”?

Mike Maguire
August 16, 2016 10:46 am

This one I can relate to as chief meteorologist for one of our major network affiliates here in Indiana from 1982-1993. Times were a bit different back then. We didn’t have doppler radar and the warnings were not as timely or numerous and of course most people only had 3 main networks to watch and 1 chance to see their favorite programs. If you cut in during their favorite program, it could be very upsetting.
Even with tornado warnings, we tried to be quickly in and out. Of course we only had a fraction of the information that’s available today, so it didn’t make sense to stay on and repeat the same things. Running crawls on the bottom of the screen can provide the worded warning, while the program runs. We tried using a split screen also but you can’t have audio from both and that doesn’t work well.
Split screen with just a radar on one side and crawl running on the bottom was another option as they watched and heard the regularly scheduled program.
So a tv meteorologist is aware that they are ticking off many viewers(often making most of them unhappy) but has a responsibility to broadcast, potentially life saving information to a small fraction of viewers. If it was a tornado warning for a fringe county effecting a few% of our viewers, you knew that it was a negative overall to most people but never hesitated and got out quick. Sometimes not quick enough for some folks, including your boss or people in management, that assessed value based on how it effected ratings.
Today, they do “wall to wall” coverage whenever there is a tornado warning anywhere on our local stations. There is no better way to maximize the dissemination of useful, often life saving information during a severe weather warning than via an experienced, good communicating television meteorologist.

Reply to  Mike Maguire
August 16, 2016 11:03 am

Pretty sad that Millennials care more about a fantasy TV show than they do about reality ! They will always be remembered as the ” Me Me Me ” generation…

Reply to  Marcus
August 17, 2016 4:12 am

Those not killed by the tornado that rudely interrupted their fantasy TV.

Reply to  Mike Maguire
August 16, 2016 1:07 pm

Not having a TV, I rely on sirens and the mark1 eyeball. Seems to work just fine.

Reply to  Mike Maguire
August 17, 2016 4:14 am

The “crawlers” work well. The warning simply cannot make people who are literally willing to die to see a TV show take cover. That’s an issue separate from issuing a warning and not one meterologists have any control over.

August 16, 2016 10:58 am

In a warming world we can expect more frequent interruptions of our tv programs.

Reply to  Bernie
August 17, 2016 9:49 am

And, of course, a cooling world will have its dangers too, “Doppler radar indicates a fast moving glacier to the northwest of New York City. Authorities advise people in the threatened area to remain alert. Walls of ice have the potential of inflicting serious or fatal injury on persons in their line of advance.”

August 16, 2016 11:06 am

Millennials don’t really care. It’s all outdated thinking and warnings and media.

Steve in SC
August 16, 2016 11:19 am

I would rather watch dried paint fade than Bachelor in Paradise.

Reply to  Steve in SC
August 16, 2016 12:14 pm

No contest! Fading paint wins hands-down, Steve.

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  H.R.
August 16, 2016 12:57 pm

Ahhh! That Purple!

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Steve in SC
August 16, 2016 3:10 pm

I was unaware of the existence of this program. I have now placed it at the head of my list of things I never want to waste my time on, begrudging even the time it took to do that.

Caligula Jones
August 16, 2016 11:21 am

Not quite the same, but here in Toronto, we’ve been warned for days about a “rain event”. They were actually telling people to “think ahead and perhaps not plan any outdoor events”. I wish I were making that up.
When I was younger, these were called “all day rains” and they didn’t really bother you. If you had enough comics.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Caligula Jones
August 17, 2016 7:15 am

Oh, and the “rain even” gave us…12.20 mm of rain. For those not into metric, that’s just over 12 dimes worth. Armageddon, I tells yah. Compare that to the mere 28 mm of rain that fell in the dark times of THREE DAYS AGO…jeeze.
And they wonder why nobody believes them anymore.

August 16, 2016 11:35 am

Well, the intelligence of that demographic is not in doubt anymore.
People should turn deep shades of color when admitting they consider BiP a must watch show…

Jane Davies
Reply to  ATheoK
August 16, 2016 11:58 am

Was it ever? The question of intelligence I mean, this is the priority mindset of many of the youngsters of today (Oh my gawd, I’m sounding like my grandmother!) who need a short sharp lesson, not on “reality” TV shows, but on the reality of real life.
Personally my family lost everything they had to Hitler’s bombing of London night after night which, although I was born after the war, impacted on my life for most of my childhood, sort of makes one think about the fact that trivia is not important.

Jane Davies
Reply to  ATheoK
August 16, 2016 12:29 pm

I’m reposting this…..my comment has not appeared but wordpress is telling me I have already posted this!
Was it ever? The question of intelligence I mean, this is the priority mindset of many of the youngsters of today (Oh my gawd, I’m sounding like my grandmother!) who need a short sharp lesson, not on “reality” TV shows, but on the reality of real life.
Personally my family lost everything they had to Hitler’s bombing of London night after night which, although I was born after the war, impacted on my life for most of my childhood, sort of makes one think about the fact that trivia is not important.
[Your comment went into the moderation queue. .mod]

Tom O
August 16, 2016 11:45 am

I can recall talking with a customer at a store I worked at back when “Survivors” was on. Reality TV, they called it. I can recall how angry the customer was because someone was about to be attacked by a wild animal on the show when some news item interrupted the program. She was livid because she was never going to know if the person on the show was going to survive the attack! And I have had customers doing their shopping and suddenly realize they didn’t have time to check out and get home to watch “‘Survivors” as well, so they abandoned their carts and left. It always was hard for me to understand how “adults” could watch a TV show and believe it was “filmed live as they watched” as well as was legitimate. Like, hello, who to hell do you think is running the camera on “Lost at Sea,” or whatever that “reality TV show was? Local monkeys in the trees?

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Tom O
August 16, 2016 12:05 pm

And they vote. Any wonder why the Country is in such dire straits.

NW sage
Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 16, 2016 5:16 pm

Exactly – makes one wonder if our republic (note that I did NOT say democracy) will survive if very many voters / citizens understand so little of the world around them – and don’t care either!

Terry Knapp
Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 17, 2016 11:24 pm

What is even worse, some of them get voted for….

Reply to  Tom O
August 16, 2016 12:10 pm

““Lost at Sea,” or whatever that “reality TV show was?”
Wasn’t it called “Gilligan’s Island”

Bryan A
Reply to  AndyG55
August 16, 2016 12:30 pm

They did do a reality series about the “Real Gilligan’s Island”
pitting people against one another to see who would make the best Gilligan etc..

Reply to  AndyG55
August 17, 2016 5:39 am

I remember that one. Wife watched one episode. It was more like “who is Gilligan going to sleep with, Mary Anne or Ginger?” Pathetic voyeurism.

Bryan A
Reply to  AndyG55
August 17, 2016 10:01 am

You gave it more of a shot than I did.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Tom O
August 16, 2016 2:00 pm

Survivor was actually caught: they went from a close up of “near drowning” contestants, then cut to a helicopter shot…BUT, there was no sign of…the camera operators who would have to be in the water for the close ups.
I could almost handle the idea that these shows exist, if it wasn’t for the over-analysis on OTHER shows and media, about what are basically game shows.

Jenn Runion
Reply to  Caligula Jones
August 17, 2016 8:35 am
August 16, 2016 12:07 pm

I live in Avon, IN. That tornado passed within just a couple miles of my house, and passed much closer to the homes of friends of mine. The advanced warning systems we now have allowed my friends to get their families to safety well in advance of the storm. Who knows what would have happened without stations like WRTV providing coverage of this potential disaster?
It is absolutely sickening to me that these idiots think their mindless entertainment is more important than the lives of people in their own community. I should not be surprised, though, it’s exactly this sort of willful ignorance that leads to people accepting warmist propaganda.

Alan Robertson
August 16, 2016 12:10 pm

Is any aspect of human thought and behavior really surprising?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Alan Robertson
August 16, 2016 9:09 pm

“Is any aspect of human thought and behavior really surprising?”
Specific things, yes. But if I mention them here, I’m considered a bad person.

August 16, 2016 12:11 pm

They don’t have an EBS system? You know the one… screech (two tone or it fails) screech .. this is the emergency broadcast system … tornado warning for (insert place) for the (duration of warning) …. screech screech screech… repeat if necessary. That is what it is for.
You are right though. I think the general public is getting mighty sick of the interrupt to just see the anchors speculate on what terrible thing possibly might happen. Sometimes it seems like a weird sort of glee on their parts… There has to be a system people trust and are willing to listen to. All of their air time disaster mongering means nothing if the channel gets changed.

Bryan A
Reply to  pkatt
August 16, 2016 12:32 pm

I saw the acronym and immediately thought
Extreme B S

Reply to  pkatt
August 16, 2016 12:42 pm

…”All of their air time disaster mongering means nothing if the channel gets changed.”
…..THAT is what actually makes it more dangerous to public well being…

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  pkatt
August 16, 2016 9:13 pm

When I was a kid visiting my grandparents in Wisconsin (Late 60s early 70s) they would usually run a crawler on the bottom of the screen, if I remember correctly. The Emergency Broadcast System is used in the event of an actual emergency, not a potential one, as far as I know.
What’s funny is when the EBS will suddenly come on in the middle of radio programming, with no lead in stating it’s a test. That gets your attention.

August 16, 2016 12:13 pm

Here in the Indy area, I was part of the festivities last night. This was not a garden variety situation of some trees getting uprooted and a few barns losing some roofing tiles. This is a major metro area, and this little cell cut across interstate highways loaded with evening rush hour traffic, suburbs with kids practicing out on soccer fields, etc. I was really glad when the radio to which I was listening cut in and told me the path of the storm so I could figure out if I was driving into danger. The level of detail in the information, precise location and projected path off the cell, let me know how to avoid it. The emergency services worked well and there were no serious injuries as a result. I can’t understand why anyone would complain about the distribution of such valuable information.

Reply to  htb1969
August 16, 2016 1:13 pm

htb, how long have you lived in Indiana?
If you pay attention while driving, you will see you are driving into danger.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
August 17, 2016 4:55 pm

Not always. The “funnel cloud” can be obscured by rain sheets, or be so close to the ground that it’s indistinguishable from surrounding wall clouds. Or nigh invisible at night. Tornadoes can also travel fast and make sudden changes of direction. And the vortex can extend for a mile or more in radius around the funnel cloud. So even in a midwest state with largely unimpeded view of the sky, a tornado is still capable of taking you by surprise.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
August 22, 2016 9:33 am

Retired Kit, I could see weather all around me when I was driving. This was one strong little cell in a whole system of rain which had several bands. Between buildings, hills, trees, and poor visibility, it wasn’t entirely clear the relative direction of the big danger. It wasn’t like there was one massive cell with a 20,000 foot wall that was black with blue skies in the other 3 directions. I’ve lived in Indiana for 30+ years of my life, and have been through plenty of storms. This looked like a big rain system, and the weather alert caught me by surprise given what I could see.
All that aside, the point of the story is to question why anyone would be “annoyed” by a weather alert interrupting the regularly scheduled programming. If it means that somewhere somebody who otherwise wouldn’t have sought cover did and that saves them from harm, isn’t that interruption worth it?

August 16, 2016 12:15 pm

Really, I agree with the point of the post but then again for people like me and probably many others here the tornado coverage IS entertainment as long as there isn’t a tornado bearing down on us.
As I drive my truck I get fleet wide messages from dispatch on my qualcom warning about major traffic back ups. It gets annoying driving down the road and listening on the annunciator about some traffic back up 1,000 or more miles away that has nothing to do with where I’m going at the time. But every great once in awhile it applies to me and I can vary my route to keep from sitting for hours. To complain about some show being interrupted because of information that may be very important or even life saving for other viewers just shows the level of maturity of those complaining. Ironic that the people saying that the station needs to review it’s priorities are the ones demonstrating that they are the ones that need to do so.

August 16, 2016 12:17 pm

It is also a clear indication that Natural Selection is not an exact science.

Paul Blase
August 16, 2016 12:17 pm

(scrolling on the bottom of the screen) “Nuclear Missiles inbound. Tape at 11. “

Reply to  Paul Blase
August 16, 2016 4:23 pm

I am so stealing that.
ICBMs inbound, time to buy a carton Winstons!

August 16, 2016 12:22 pm

The stations response to Ashley was a hoot … “If we named the tornadoes Chad would that make up for the Bachelor in Paradise interruption?”

August 16, 2016 12:25 pm

The things that gets up my nose are the AMBER Alerts. I don’t remember hearing one where the kid was actually in danger. I haven’t heard of an AMBER Alert actually saving someone’s life. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) In fact researchers have called them “crime control theater”.

Reply to  commieBob
August 16, 2016 12:50 pm

..Not sure where you live commieBob, but in North America,….Amber Alerts work !

Reply to  Marcus
August 16, 2016 4:35 pm

The article does cite a couple of cases where an AMBER Alert was absolutely justified.
All of the alerts I have ever heard were parental abductions and the kids were in no danger at all.

… the U.S. Department of Justice issues the following “guidance”, which most states are said to “adhere closely to” (in the U.S.):[14]
1. Law enforcement must confirm that an abduction has taken place.
2. The child must be at risk of serious injury or death.
3. There must be sufficient descriptive information of child, captor, or captor’s vehicle to issue an alert.
4. The child must be under 18 years of age.[15]
Many law enforcement agencies have not used #2 as a criterion, resulting in many parental abductions triggering an Amber Alert, link

Things could get worse. Now we’re going to have “Blue Alerts to warn about threats to police officers and help find the suspects who carry them out” and Silver Alerts for missing seniors.
I have no problem with public service announcements, like tornado warnings, that are important and about which I can do something. If there’s a missing senior citizen near me, I’m happy to help. On the other hand, I don’t need to hear about a parental abduction a thousand miles away (yes, I heard one of those) and I would sure resent being wakened at night to hear about it.

Reply to  commieBob
August 16, 2016 2:41 pm

There have been several very good Amber Alerts in western Canada. They have helped recover abductees and they have helped find perpetrators and remains.

Jane Davies
August 16, 2016 12:30 pm

This is the priority mindset of many of the youngsters of today (Oh my gawd, I’m sounding like my grandmother!) who need a short sharp lesson, not on “reality” TV shows, but on the reality of real life.
Personally my family lost everything they had to Hitler’s bombing of London night after night which, although I was born after the war, impacted on my life for most of my childhood, sort of makes one think about the fact that trivia is not important.

August 16, 2016 12:51 pm

This reaction is so ridiculous, I can’t even think of a response.

Dodgy Geezer
August 16, 2016 12:55 pm

….This is another clear cut case of “warning fatigue” (something NOAA recognizes) ..
A major reason that Britain voted to leave the EU was ‘warning fatigue’. Only it’s not really ‘fatigue’. It’s seeing that most of these warnings are self-serving lies.
We were warned that our economy, if not the entire Western world’s economy, would collapse if we voted to Leave. We were told it would spell the end or European civilisation, and possibly the start of WW3. We were told not to vote Leave by the Prime Minister, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Heads of the Bank of England, the IMF and the World Bank, the assembled heads of all the countries in the EU, The President of the United States and the Pope. Literally!
Which was why we voted Leave…

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
August 16, 2016 1:14 pm

.Which was why we voted Leave……. After losing the best in WW 1 and II it took this long grow a pair back. There’s hope the Brits yet.

Gerry, England
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
August 16, 2016 1:44 pm

It was not as if those giving the warnings had any track record of successful predictions anyway. Osborne’s budgets collapsed within days, Lagarde and her IMF had to apologise for crap forecasts for the UK economy, Carney is a joke with his ‘i will be raising interest rates when this happens, no when this happens, no actually when this happens etc.

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
August 16, 2016 3:15 pm

And good on yer, mate. From Jan 64, I served nearly 10 years in the USAF in the UK, thus could never reconcile myself with Westminister being dictated to by the French and the Germans. Of course, the Brits who had the greatest influence on my perception of Britain’s rightful place in European affairs were mostly WWWII vets, soldiers, airmen, sailors and civilians, who knew from painful personal experience what happens when tyrants are accommodated by weak leaders. The rest of the western nations are well advised to look to their own sovereignty.

August 16, 2016 1:16 pm

OT — when I was reading near the end of the article, I could see the image of the book cover, but wasn’t really focusing it. It looked like an image of the shark on Jaws — the red umbrella looked like a frowning mouth, and the background on the book was kind of shark colored. Time to see the shrink?

Reply to  littlepeaks
August 16, 2016 1:32 pm

How many times have you seen Sharknado?😄

August 16, 2016 1:26 pm

If you have have ever lived through a tornado and more than one as I have, these warnings are invaluable.
Have also watched anvil clouds form over Lake Erie and then watched for which direction they are moving.

don penman
August 16, 2016 1:43 pm

Mankind has survived for a very long time on this planet without weather forecasts and we can survive in the future without weather forecasters. Forecasters are the modern day shamen or witchdoctors if we don’t listen to them we will surely die, not science even though it is prediction.

Reply to  don penman
August 16, 2016 2:44 pm

Short term weather forecasting is reliable. Long term forecasting is not.
Tornado warnings are reliable because doppler radar makes it possible to see tornadoes forming.

In the United States, the tornado death rate has declined from 1.8 deaths per million people per year in 1925 to only 0.11 per million in 2000. Much of this change is credited to improvements in the tornado warning system,

If my mental arithmetic is correct, tornado warnings are saving about 600 lives per year in the USofA.

John Robertson
Reply to  commieBob
August 16, 2016 4:47 pm

My question is to that statistic you quoted. A change from 1.8 to 0.11 is quite astounding, however the question also is – what group of people does this reflect? If the entire US population then one has to see if the number of people living in Tornado Alley has increased as the same rate as those who do not. If the percentage is the same then good, weather forecasting appears to work with respect to tornado deaths. If the percentage of people at risk since 1925 has changed then that needs to be expressed. The Wikipedia article where you got this from misquoted the original text substantially and cherry picked the years. Using archive.org to go back to the original source (a private person’s tornado education page) the closest info to what Wikipedia used is this:
The United States experiences an average of 80 deaths and 1,500 injuries that are caused by tornadoes, each year. The deadliest tornado in American history, however, was actually invisible. In 1925, the “Tri-State” tornado launched a 220-mile long and mile- wide path of destruction that resulted in 60 – 70 MPH tornado winds (twice the speed of an average tornado) in the states of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. In total, 2,000 people were injured, along with $16 million worth of property losses, and 700 fatalities. This tragedy also holds the known record for most tornado fatalities in a single city or town: 234 deaths accounted for the small town of Murphysboro, Illinois.
So, 1925 had 700 deaths where the average number of deaths per year is only 80 (according to https://web.archive.org/web/20130720011531/http://mattcuttsalerts.com/tornado-warnings/) roughly nine times more in 1925 – so cherry picking may be what happened here to generate that 1.8 to 0.11 statistic. If they went to 1926 and compared it with 2010 what would show up? If the average number of fatalities is declining steadily year after year then that would indicate a change that may be attributable to weather forecasting.
What I am saying is you must ALWAYS check the source. I do not doubt that good weather forecasting saves lives and property and is invaluable, however reporting bad statistics helps no one.

Reply to  commieBob
August 16, 2016 5:55 pm

John Robertson says: August 16, 2016 at 4:47 pm

Good catch! Sure looks like a cherry pick to me.

August 16, 2016 2:24 pm

TV viewers should be given the ability to block all emergency and weather alerts. It would improve the gene pool immensely. /sarc

August 16, 2016 2:29 pm

I am so old that I can remember when you could get useful information about the weather in the US. Many years ago public TV aired NOAA weather report for aviators. With a 5th grade Indiana education, you could figure out what your local weather would be.
You are really lucky if you live some place where the AMS certified television meteorologist at least one local station is not a complete moron. For example, we spend part of the winter and spring in Shreveport, LA. The CBS moron will preempt an entire NCIS to show how smart he is by talking over the head of the audience with ‘state of the art’ models.
In Shreveport, I watch a different station for weather warnings. They get the job done in a short time unless it is the ‘annual’ record flood. With the internet and HD weather channels 24/7, the information is only as good as the technician who post the information. The weekend guy is not very good.
I grew up in Indiana. We had drill for tornadoes. We had basements. During one tornado warning, I was working in the basement of the mechanical engineering building. I thought I could not be in a safer place. Thirty miles away the massive stone county courthouse just disappeared. I went up to look at the damage. You still read the occupancy limit signs post in the civil defense shelter.
The basic problem with warnings is what are you going to do after being warned.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
August 16, 2016 5:50 pm

We live near S’port, La. Completely agree with the assessment of the CBS affiliate. Yes, we are probably watching the same group that gives a good summary and explanation of what is going on.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
August 16, 2016 9:12 pm

I think that WTHR channel 13 has the most advanced Doppler in the Indianapolis area right now. There is a noticeable difference.

August 16, 2016 2:33 pm

Bachelor in Paradise is easily the best reality show I’ve seen this year. The producers have ditched the corn, and rounded up the liveliest freaks from the last few seasons of the Bachelor/Bachelorette. We get to watch the freaks at play.
There’s nothing shameful about watching reality TV. I’m out and proud, and I only wish I had come out earlier. During the first season of Big Brother I pretended to have only a vague interest, but eventually I realised I couldn’t contain it, and I started talking about it with work colleagues. If any reality buffs on this blog feel they need to hide it, all I can say is: don’t! There are more of us than you realise. The first step is to admit it to yourself – don’t pretend that you just caught a glimpse of Cops because the TV was on while you were washing the dishes. Once you’re at peace with yourself, you’ll be surprised how accepting other people will be. With a bit of luck, your family will even buy you a TV just for your own use.

Reply to  rubberduck
August 17, 2016 9:29 am


Lauren R.
August 16, 2016 2:40 pm

Does it occur to anyone that the tweets are intended to be humorous? You know, sarcasm? Don’t be so literal, folks. If they know how to tweet, it’s likely they know how to see TV episodes online. Enjoy the humor.

Reply to  Lauren R.
August 17, 2016 6:00 am

It did to me, too. Kids have a great sense of humor, in contrast to some of the comments here.
In any case they’ve got our genes and live in the world we built for them, so blame yourselves if you don’t like what you see 😉

Lauren R.
August 16, 2016 2:41 pm

Does it occur to anyone that the tweets are intended to be humorous? You know, sarcasm? Don’t be so literal, folks. If they know how to tweet, it’s likely they know how to see TV episodes online.

August 16, 2016 2:43 pm

Thanks for pointing to the book, Warnings. Bought it as ebook and am through 3 terrific chapters already. Highly recommend it to all here.
My father started out in the Army Air Force as a B-17/ Gooney Bird C-45 pilot, then helped develop weather radar at the Seagirt Inn in 1944-45 (double e) . Switched to being a command pilot flying converted instrumented B-29s off Guam for early Pacific typhoon tracking research in 1947, after graduating with a masters in meteorology and a masters in physics from UCLA in 1946, both courtesy USAF. In 1950 he safely landed on Guam a 409th Typhoon Chaser B-29 so violently shaken as he flew though dispensing dropsondes from the bombay that the tail was bent 17 degrees out of true. Scrapped for parts. So he probably knew the early Air Force Weather Service researchy guys in the book’s early chapters from 1948-1953.

August 16, 2016 2:44 pm

Sorry for the duplicate. Chrome isn’t very good at handling WordPress logins.

Joel O'Bryan
August 16, 2016 3:26 pm

Sorry AW, but the 2016 Darwin Award already has a shoo-in winner.
The Tesla autodriver who drove his Model S on autopilot mode and did nothing to stop the car from going under the Semi-trailer at 60 MPH. Lost his head he did, literally.
Avoiding tornado warnings on the telly doesn’t even come close to that lethal stupidity.

August 16, 2016 3:29 pm

Since Anthony Watts feels it is okay to demean people in Indiana, let me be the first to nominate Anthony Watts for the Darwin Award.
First Anthony Watts put PV panels on his roof. What kind of moron does that? There are two kinds of power plants, those that have had a fire and those that have not had a fire yet. I call PV systems smoke emitting diodes. I am trained in firefighting, first aid, and CPR. Good skills to bring home but I would never put PV on my roof.
Second Anthony Watts lives in California. The morons in California have a propensity to think they are less of a moron that folks elsewhere that they belittle. I went to school in Indiana and spent summers with my dad starting in 1960. The assumption was that I was a hick. I lived in a larger more cosmopolitan city when back east.
To be sure, California has a mild climate and beautiful oceans and mountains. Indiana is one of those place where they say if you do not like the weather, wait 15 minutes. Winters are brutal and summers are hot and humid.
Finally, Anthony Watts is TV weather predictor. 100% of people in front of camera are morons. They do not know it because think everyone else is. My son works behind the scenes in TV newsroom. When he move to a major market, they were still moron. Prettier morons but still morons.
I am willing to consider the possibility that Anthony Watts has enough life skills not to win the Darwin Award. That is as long as he stays in California.
Retract that! I have driven in California. I would rather see a tornado coming across a cornfield than California plates in the rear view mirror.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
August 16, 2016 4:30 pm

Still having bad dreams about R. Rapier KP?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Retired Kit P
August 16, 2016 4:54 pm

Retired, maybe a new, more appropriate screen name for you is “Asshole Kit P”?
…just sayin’….it would fit.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 17, 2016 9:34 am

That’s correct and why some love me and some don’t.
Of course pointing that makes Joel one too, a very shallow one. Joel do you have anything to add to indicate your are not also a moron?

Reply to  Retired Kit P
August 16, 2016 5:11 pm

…Ran out of Prune Juice, didn’t you !! oO

John M. Ware
Reply to  Retired Kit P
August 16, 2016 5:36 pm

I didn’t get the impression Anthony was belittling Hoosiers (I grew up in Indiana and had a large slice of my teaching career there), except for the immature ones we always had, both there and everywhere else I have lived.

Reply to  John M. Ware
August 16, 2016 9:02 pm

Well John, AW was not suggesting they should be nominated for a Nobel Prize in Physics.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
August 16, 2016 7:07 pm

“First Anthony Watts put PV panels on his roof. What kind of moron does that?”
Someone like me who gets a tax clawback subsidy and a generous FIT rate to boot (Down Under in South Australia). While I know that’s really reshiftable power bills, I don’t make up the dumb rules of the game, just hop in for my chop lest I’m stuck subsidising my neighbours. Why do you ask? Aren’t you aware of the rules of the game these moronic watermelons make up?

Reply to  observa
August 16, 2016 10:28 pm

While I like your honesty, doing something stupid because there is a tax break is still stupid.
I have a sailboat. I wrote some of the expenses off my taxes. When I sail I am at risk of drowning. I like sailing.
If you have PV on your roof because it is a hobby you enjoy, that is great. You are not a moron tricked by some politician.

Michael Jankowski
August 16, 2016 3:47 pm

I imagine the three or more other local news affiliates could cover the weather emergency just as well.

August 16, 2016 4:51 pm

Used to be that a tv station would air a missed program after the news.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  4TimesAYear
August 16, 2016 8:17 pm

and cut into Johnny Carson????? no way!

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
August 17, 2016 12:17 pm

No, no, they would have the entire late night shows on as well – usually it was the CBS affiliate that did this. 🙂

August 16, 2016 7:14 pm

Alarm fatigue alert…alarm fatigue alert!
ooooh booga booga, we’re all doomed to be bleached or turned into white folk or some such

August 16, 2016 7:52 pm

There seems to be some confusion about the Darwin Awards. They are not for people who do incredibly stupid things, or things someone doesn’t like. They are for people who DIE doing incredibly stupid things so that their genes are removed from the gene pool.
One famous Darwin Award winner was an elephant attendant. The elephant had massive constipation. The attendant fed the elephant lots of laxatives. When they appeared not to be working, he stood behind the elephant and gave it an enema. He died, suffocated, under some 150 pounds of freshly excreted elephant excrement.

Reply to  Leveut
August 16, 2016 10:54 pm

or stealing copper from energized lines.

Steve T
Reply to  Leveut
August 17, 2016 5:42 am

Dying isn’t necessary, removing yourself from the gene pool is the only qualification.
There was a nominee of someone returning from an overnight frog hunting expedition whose car fuses blew. Having no replacement, he found that a cartridge fitted exactly, allowing him to continue his journey!
Sure enough, after a short while the cartridge warmed sufficiently to go off – pointing under the dash and blowing the drivers nuts off. Prime candidate, but not sure he won?

James Bull
August 16, 2016 8:37 pm

Rather reminds me of the book by Ray Bradbury “Fahrenheit 451” in which most of the people had been so brainwashed into watching mindless TV shows that they didn’t notice or care that their country was at war.

August 16, 2016 11:59 pm

In the defense of the rest of the nation, this WAS from Indiana.
Scaring someone from Indiana takes a lot of work and usually a Rendition to someplace whar piple tawk diffurnt.

August 17, 2016 1:23 am

There are times when it is necessary to remove all the safety devices , and let natural selection sort it out.
This seems to be one of those times.

August 17, 2016 3:48 am

Warning Fatigue is a legitimate concern. I do maintenance for a small university and the LAHJ requires us to run a monthly test of 2 pull stations in each building and a test of the entire system every six months. In addition the student affairs office has to run a “surprise” drill (since the RAs are told when it will occur, the entire student body knows in short order) once a semester. Then there are false alarms caused by students cooking in their rooms, which happen a few times every semester.
The result of all this is that the students (and the faculty) have been trained out of any kind of immediate reaction to the sound of the alarms. If we had an actual structure fire on campus, I am concerned that the majority of residents would not react until they saw smoke and felt heat–which is often too late to get everybody out of the building.

Jenn Runion
Reply to  MishaBurnett
August 17, 2016 8:49 am

I am concerned that the majority of residents would not react until they saw smoke and felt heat–which is often too late to get everybody out of the building.
I was on the fire team at Motorola. You’d be freaking amazed at how many times an alarm went off–fire or chemical and you’d find people still in the area working after the evac was called. And we’re talking stuff that if you smell you die. The simple reason? “Oh I didn’t see/smell anything so figured it was safe, no reason to get undressed” (we wore bunny suits….clean rooms..etc).
I was once in a movie theater where the fire alarm went off–it took a good 15 seconds for the guy to shut off the movie and everyone in the theater groaned. There was a real freaking fire too and people were pissed off they had to leave. I stood up and shouted, FIRE EVERYONE OUT NOW! And you know there were still people wandering around looking for the smoke.
That was in the 90’s.

August 17, 2016 4:42 am

I had to Google “Bachelor in Paradise” to find out what all the fuss is about. I found out it is a TV series on ABC. That explains why I haven’t seen it. I haven’t watched network TV since I first got Internet access.

Robert Clark
August 17, 2016 8:44 am

I have to admit that the TV stations get a little self consumed by all the fancy graphics, radars and special effects they invest in in their weather news rooms. Missing a little primetime TV is minor compared to knowing I should be headed to my shelter though. One thing that makes it tough is that probably about 10 to 15 percent of the Indianapolis viewing area was all that could have reasonably been considered to be in danger that evening so the rest had to suffer. I, for one am willing to accept that. BTW wthr13 has the cutest weather forecaster.

August 17, 2016 9:28 am

On a different topic, this behavior is more symptomatic of a bigger problem than warning fatigue – namely, poor ability of the public in general to estimate the proper levels of risk with various events. A classic case in point would be fear of flying in a commercial airline as opposed to, say, the trip to the airport in a car. Another example would be fear of cancer causing foods while at the same time eating a diet likely to induce adult-onset diabetes.
Warning fatigue is simply a subset of inaccurately assessed risk. On the flip side, climate alarmism would also be an example of improperly assessed risk, which is exacerbated by the current dominant (environmental) religion.

August 18, 2016 11:21 am

Let me say more bad things TV news including weather. If it bleeds it leads.
Looking at the statistics for death, I was a little surprised (I should not have been) by what is not important. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_causes_of_death_by_rate
In the US, you are more likely to die of malaria than lung cancer. My father was a heavy smoker and contracted malaria in WWII. He died of a much rarer form of cancer. I called him Lucky, since he survived Pearl Harbor, two plane crashes and many near crashes (before I was born), a house fire (the day I was born), pulling teenage boys from a car fire, revived in the ER after a hit and run while parked in front of my brother’s school, and revived in the ER after being electrocuted at work.
When you look at ‘unintentional injuries’, it is 6.23%. The is the opportunity for ‘warnings’ to save lives. For example, smoke detectors are very cheap compared to hospital treatment. That annoying noise your car makes when you are not wearing your seat belt.
The opportunity to save lives by tornado per 100,000 is zero when you round off the risk. It should be noted that a big tornado has a self warning mechanism, it sounds like a freight train.
I have been in a tornado. The sky was dark and the next thing I could not see the hood ornament on beater Lincoln. I was able to stop and was really glad I was not in the little car for the car pool. The best I can tell it formed on top of me. A few minutes later, there was a warning on the radio of the citing of a tornado. Everyone at work a few miles away had to shelter until the warning was over.
The safest place to be in a tornado is at a nuke plant. We have building designed for such events. Most people do not.

Reply to  Retired Kit P
August 18, 2016 3:37 pm

Pull the nearest manhole cover and climb down a few steps, watch out for rising waters/raccoons/gators and hope the debris field doesn’t end up sealing you in.

August 19, 2016 1:54 am


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