Kudos to the Weather Channel

In a number of past blog posts I have chastised the Weather Channel and their superstar meteorologists for making longterm hurricane forecasts, for encouraging the sport of storm chasing and for reporting from ground zero during severe weather, standing in the wind and rain and sending the wrong message to viewers.  On the other hand, the Channel has long provided valuable warnings when severe weather threatens and yesterday's tornado outbreak across the Midwest highlighted that service.  Well before the storms materialized, their meteorologists explained the weather dynamics that posed a risk and correctly forecast the location and timing of the severe storms.

As one who has long been fascinated by weather systems while also practicing an inexact science (i.e. Medicine), I have sympathized with the efforts of meteorologists to make forecasts with a degree of accuracy that will influence public behavior and save lives.  Like them, I know that skeptical clients are often not receptive to advanced warnings until they are directly impacted by tragedy.

Technology and research have greatly improved short-term weather forecasts in recent years and I applaud the Weather Channel for the education and warnings that they provide.  If they would only drop their increasing number of melodramatic reality shows, I might tune in more often.