The Evolution of the Forecast…

I’ve heard it all in the last 24 hours. From the “you all busted this forecast so bad” to “thank you for all that you all did, staying on -air and giving us the warning”.  Truth be told, this system was forecasted well in advance (the small details were still missing, but weren’t necessary really), and given the meteorological conditions that we saw setting up well in advance, this had all the “right things” to be a major severe weather outbreak.  Just because it didn’t impact your town directly, doesn’t make it any less of an event. Remember, the science is not perfect. And if the science is not perfect, then as a meteorologist, we won’t be perfect either. But sometimes we can be pretty dang close. Check out the following image.

The image above shows the evolution of the risk that The Storm Prediction Center sent out. It detailed the potential of something 1 week out. 7 days! That was 7 days to start thinking about this. We mentioned on air days ahead of this, that something could come together. We never stayed silent on the matter because as a meteorologist, when you see this set-up, you know something scary could unfold.

I tip my hat off to every single meteorologist in Oklahoma. To The Storm Prediction Center for all that they did, to The National Weather Service for hitting the message hard and the amazing communication that they sent out via their chat. To the media… all of them. It’s very unfortunate to see what happened in Woodward. Tornadoes were dancing all around that part of the state during the evening. 5 deaths is tough to see. Could the number have been higher had we not put the message out days in advance? It possibly could. We won’t ever really know for sure.

But what we do know is that this system hardly changed from the forecast that was sent out a week in advance. I said it a lot on Friday and this just confirmed it even more. DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT TYPE OF RISK YOU ARE IN. A high risk can be just as deadly as a moderate risk or even a slight risk. (May 3rd, 1999 started out as a slight risk) Storms don’t know the difference between the yellow shading on the map, the orange or even the red.  And for those of you who say “you busted” or you wanted something bigger with many more tornadoes in the state, may I suggest therapy.

-Damon

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11 Responses

  1. i agree! i think you all done a great great job of trying to warn people of this storm! we saw no damage in chandler and i am thankful. but my heart still breaks for the less fortunate. we were ready to go to celler, thankss to ya’lls advanced notice! keep up the good work!.

  2. Your words ring so true. The advance notice was absolutely awesome. It made us weather aware and alert for days. Having moved away from here for a while to a place that had minimal weather coverage, (Joplin, MO), we cannot appreciate enough your coverage. Thank you ~ my relatives in Woodward were safe because of you.

  3. I am very thankful to everyone at Koco. Im originally from Michigan where we dont see weather like this. I had live wire up shortly after the tornado happened in Norman, shut it down for a few hours to sleep and was logged back in on Sat morning at about 8am – 4:30am Sunday morning. Koco kept me informed and aware (therefore prepared) for what had the potental of happening in my area. My heart goes out to all of those who were affected by the storms & those who lost loved ones. I am quite certain if it weren’t for Koco’s storm team, there would have been many more lives lost.
    To those of you who were “disappointed” with what the storms brought to Oklahoma (or didn’t bring)…….shame on you.

  4. word!

  5. You help me save the lives of my children. God bless y’all.

  6. I for one think you guys did a spectacular job. Im a police officer in a small community of about 1700 people. Alot of these people depend on us to do our best to protect the community from severe weather by spotting the storm as it approaches. We depend on you to give us the information so we can cooberate that with what we are seeing in the field and vice versa. This particular storm we started paying attention to the information you were giving on it from day one. The communication was invaluable, thru facebook and the internet. We were also communicating with storm spotters. I just want to say thank you for all that you do and I not only speak for myself and my department but for other people in the community. The storm wasnt as severe as we had planned for by the time it got into osage county but for the most part you guys were right on. Steve Denton, Fairfax Police Department.

  7. Amen. Well said. It was a scary weekend, and we are all grateful for what you guys do. I can’t believe people have the nerve to say you guys did otherwise. Those idiots clearly are forgetting what life could be like without you guys…

  8. Thank you to the entire KOCO weather team. You did a tremendous job of pin pointing where the storms were and approximately what time they would arrive at certain areas. I, for one, am not disappointed there were not more tornadoes. What we had was plenty. As far as I’m concerned, your weather team hit the nail on the head for your forecasting. Again, thank you!!!

  9. Awesome blog, Damon!!! My dad’s side of the family is from Woodward. It’s very sad what happened there. But to all those saying this was a bust…I agree with Damon…seek therapy NOW!!! People dying because of a tornado is not a bust!!! It’s TRAGIC. Thank you guys for all you do to Keep Us Ahead of the Storm 🙂

    Misty Barnett

  10. Wonderful post Damon! You said everything I was thinking! A big thank you to everyone, from meterologists to lay people who spread the word about this event to try to keep people informed and safe.

    And you know what? I’m guessing people who were in impacted areas…Norman on Friday, Woodward on Saturday, areas farther north probably are wishing that a “bust” was all they had to complain about right now!

  11. Anyone who gives you guys heck for the job you do is just CLUELESS!! I’d like to see them forecast the weather, or sacrifice many many hours of family time, personal time, and SLEEP to make sure others are safe. Keep doing what you do, because you ALL do it brilliantly!!

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