I’ve got KSN’s streaming weather coverage on the latop. Dave Freeman is on with Mark Bogner. They are in Downtown Wichita directly in the path of a large tornado.
You want reality television? Hello! A little while ago Dave asked non-essential station personnel to move to their shelter.
They’ve got the NWS NEXRAD Doppler radar and are staying totally with base reflectivity. No Doppler products on-air. Sometimes management demands showing the bells and whistles. I don’t miss it. The position of the tornadoes within these cells is pretty evident on the radar.
Some stations go too far showing off technology. They make themselves less effective in critical situations. If a piece of gear requires explanation don’t use it when time is critical!
It’s tough for me to understand their market. I can’t sight read the close-up maps of tiny rural Kansas towns. I guess they’re covering the storms thoroughly. A local could make a better judgement.
We TV mets read the radar and report what that means in real time, but it will be a while before actual damage reports gravitate out to the media. There is a fog of war effect that slows the flow of information.
5 thoughts on “Wichita’s Tornado Coverage”
That had to have been a scary moment…
I watched the weather channel for a while last night. At a point, the Wichita weather service office handed off to Topeka because they were in the path of a tornado
Geoff!!! Opened your page to read that you were watching MY TV station here in Wichita!!! Lots of damage,thankfully no loss of life. First time we have really been under the tornado gun in quite a while….very scary.
I am intrigued with your comment about the “There is a fog of war effect that slows the flow of information.” concerning damage reports and the possible real-time location a tornado based on radar.
As a resident of Wichita, KS, I was watching the local weather teams (on several stations) forecast the location of the reported Tornado based on the radar. Because of the time of day/night of the storms (in Wichita about 10:30-11:00pm) the normally risky business of storm spotting was greatly reduced to chasing transformer explosions.
I am curious if you could comment on the radar refresh times. One forecaster commented that they were “getting a radar refresh” which made me start paying closer attention. This seemed to happened every few minutes, however, when a storm is moving at 30 MPH, a lot can happen in 5 minutes.
After retracing the path Tornado today and recalling the coverage last night, I have been pondering how this “fog of war” could be reduced during future storms.
Thanks in advance for your response.
Hi Scott –
What I meant was it was impossible for them to know the consequences of the weather they were forecasting and warning for. Of course they knew where tornadoes were. They were excellent with that. They knew what these tornadoes could do, but not what they had done.
While they were on they had no idea where homes were coming down or where the funnel did less damage. That data takes hours to get out and filter back. That’s the fog I’m talking about.
It’s often called “ground truthing.