From the ABC 7 Weather team

Saturday Severe Storms: Were You Informed?

September 11, 2012 - 05:00 AM
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Saturday started out hot and sunny, but turned dark and stormy very quickly.  Did you know about the storm threat?

What a beautiful Saturday morning and early afternoon, it was. It was hot and humid, but it was quite breezy and it was mostly sunny. If you hadn't listened to the entire weather forecast for Saturday, you may just assume it was going to be a sunny and hot day. Well, as we all know now, that wasn't the case!

ABC7 reported the potential for severe weather for Saturday afternoon earlier in the week. Thursday and Friday ABC7 meteorologists Bob Ryan, Doug Hill, and Adam Caskey showed this severe threat graphic (below).

Severe Storm Risk Graphic

Did you see it?  How helpful was it in preparing you for what was to come on Saturday afternoon?  The sunny, breezy, and hot weather at 1pm Saturday in D.C. turned to dark, stormy, and gusty by 3pm.  Winds gusted upwards of 70mph and a few tornado warnings were issued by the National Weather Service (even though no tornado was confirmed). 

Take another look at the above graphic.  What does it tell you?  Does it give you an idea of the greatest threats of the storms?  The yellow wind bar is the highest, since damaging wind gusts were anticipated.  The hail and flood bars were relatively low with a slightly higher risk of a tornado.  That is what ABC7 meteorologists were trying to convey with this graphic.

Emphasis on communication of the weather forecast between the meteorologist and the viewer is critical... what decision will you make based on the information you're given? 

Meteorologist Bryan Norcross wrote a blog recently linking the "mangled message" individuals receive after watching/listening to a weather forecast and what decisions they make based on the weather forecast.   

So how informed were you for Saturday's storms?  Give us some feedback in the comment section below.  Is there something we could have done differently?  We want to hear from YOU!

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