A successful meteorologist provides the information I need– in a timely fashion and with the relevant meteorological analysis– to act in accordance with the current and future weather circumstances.
I appreciate Joel’s sentiment. I do rely– in part as you’ll see– on Joel’s analyses and forecasts but my safety is my responsibility.
In that previous post I claimed
There are two categories of information acquisition. The first is “Tell me.” Someone else is looking at the raw weather data, analyzing and assessing it and other relevant information, and telling you what’s going on. You act accordingly.
The second, “I’ll see for myself,” will come shortly.
1. PHONE NOTIFICATIONS
NWS NOW (National Weather Service Now) available at Amazon Appstore. Current conditions, forecasts, radar, maps, saved locations and access to your current location (if you choose), and optional alert setting for hazardous weather conditions. As all advisories, watches, and warning are issued by the NWS (and only relayed by local weather stations, etc.) having NWS NOW on your phone, and setting it to beep at you when you’re in an area for which the advisory/watch/warning has been issued, means you get it first.
LOCAL TV/RADIO STATION WEATHER APPs. Local people know the lay of the land. If they are good meteorologists they can also spot hazards in real time at specific locations. My local TV weather app has a feature that will call me if I’m in a tornado’s path. I didn’t sign up b/c I have so much weather redundancy. But if you’re not a weather geek, this could be a useful feature, especially if you’re in the car a lot. (Also, these guys like to post pictures which can be useful in assessing conditions.)
(The came in handy when we were in Denver. I could keep up with the rain and flooding in Mississippi, knew how it would affect the roads around the Farm, and communicate to the Farm sitters.)
Tip: Have these on all of your devices!
2. TWITTER FEEDS
NWSs (National Weather Services) in YOUR REGION. Note this is plural. You have one NWS that’s closest to your home location. Follow it. Also follow nearby locations. You know from what direction your weather events come. In addition to Jackson (local) I follow Shreveport, LA (thunderstorms from the west), Memphis, TN (ice storms from the north) and Mobile, AL (Gulf hurricanes).
YOUR STATE’S EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY. Redundant re-tweets of notifications but also useful information about locale-specific closures, opening of shelters, and damage assessment. Remember, all county Emergency Management report to state. My county doesn’t have a twitter feed, yours may so follow it as well.
LOCAL TV/RADIO WEATHER. See local apps above. Mine is more likely to post pictures on twitter than in the app.
Tip: Sit down and ‘follow’ each of these one right after another. In this way, all of the weather-related Twitter will be clustered together in your ‘following’ list. When you need to monitor these accounts, go to that list rather than waiting for something to show up in your feed.
All national weather TV stations are insufferable, in my opinion. I would not voluntarily rely on national TV for information. The warnings on local TV scroll too slowly. I don’t listen to commercial radio (though I could if I needed). If watching TV or listening to radio are your gig, go for it. But keep in mind cable & satellite go out, as does power. It’s probably the case that most, if not all, TV and radio stations have backup generators, so they can still receive radar and other information, and can send out app notifications and tweets. (Broadcast as well, but if you don’t have TV… .)
4. NOAA WEATHER RADIO
There are 10 pages of search results on Amazon. Look for one that has
at least two sources of power (more is better),
an alarm, and
whose bells & whistles correspond to your level of belling & whistling.
A NOAA weather radio that you do not know how to operate is not only worthless but may instill a false sense of security. (I would not buy my mom the radio we have!)
Tip: Keep the owner’s manual to your radio with your emergency gear (batteries, flash lights, etc.).
1. We haven’t had good luck with Midland walkie-talkie versions of the weather radar. Maybe it’s just us, but the recharging stations fail and programming the unit is not intuitive. I do very much like our Kaito Voyager Pro. Five sources of energy (AC, rechargeable battery, AA, solar, hand crank); AM/FM, weather, and shortwave radio; flash and reading light; various alarm and alert settings; USB charger; earbud or speaker outlet. See below on battery life.
2. Recall the points about local meteorologists knowing the lay of the land, and radio stations being able to broadcast during power outages. A NOAA weather radio that is also an AM/FM radio is A+ Department of Redundancy Department work.
3. Rechargeable batteries do not last forever. I like the Kaito but its NiMH battery is starting to fade out. Don’t wait until you need a functioning radio to discover this and act accordingly. In my case, when bad weather is imminent, I now plug the radio into my Jackery.
Customized alert apps
Mississippi State has Maroon Alerts available to students, staff, faculty, family & friends of students,– so basically anyone who cares about MSU and Starkville. With respect to weather, it’s just another layer of redundancy. But non-weather-related bad things happen that you may need to know about. If your school or company provides such an app, take advantage of it.
MISCELLANEOUS & COMMENT
Your situation differs from mine– not may, does. You may travel or live in an area without cell phone / internet reception. You may not have a Twitter account. There may be threats unrelated to weather about which you need information. Taking responsibility for your own safety may involve having a shortwave or CB (citizens’ band) radio, listening to a scanner. Back in the crappy olden days, folks would set up telephone trees. For the youngsters, one person has a reliable means of receiving, and possibly transmitting, information– say a shortwave radio listening to state or local emergency management. That person also has a list of five names he or she calls (back in the day, on a land line phone) to pass on the warning. Each of those has five names… .
We’ve come a long way, but still, not too bad an idea.
Tip: Have a hard copy list of family and critical contact numbers. Put it with your emergency stuff.
Tell me recap
I saw this the other day and chuckled. I’d give it a B, a very good start but needs more specific detail. Department of Redundancy Department. Keep in mind that outdoor sirens are intended to be heard outdoors, not indoors.
I took this screen shot and sent it to Miss M who replied, “Ha! That’s pretty bitchy.” She did not realize Joel was a meteorologist. There were a couple of replies to Joel’s tweet, one from a newcomer to Mississippi who admitted she was not yet familiar with the state’s 83 county locations. She thanked him. Fair enough.
The point that one should be able to locate oneself on a map seems fairly obvious to me. I will admit that occasionally I am unfamiliar with where a particular town or county is, and so I found two much better maps of Mississippi, printed them, and just for sh*^s and giggles, laminated them.
My quibble is, of course, that it is not a meteorologist’s job to keep me safe. [Okay. I have quibbles with the grammar but I’ll set them aside.] My safety is my responsibility. A successful meteorologist provides the information I need– in a timely fashion and with the relevant meteorological analysis– to act in accordance with the current and future weather circumstances.
How not to prepare? Trust your safety to someone else.
My safety is my responsibility. How does one begin to shoulder this responsibility? Thinking about the weather stuff I have used and accumulated, I’ll be posting** my suggestions about what one needs to acquire information about the weather.
There are two categories of information acquisition. The first is “Tell me.” Someone else is looking at the raw weather data, analyzing and assessing it and other relevant information, and telling you what’s going on. You act accordingly. The second is “I’ll see for myself.”
*No dig on Joel. He’s a competent meteorologist.
**I had originally launched into “Tell me” below the fold, followed by “I’ll see for myself” but decided it was better as three separate posts. Bear in mind the post title, “Gathering Information on Bad Weather.” I’ll not be talking about other preparedness stuff.
Steve @Hounds and Other Stuff left a comment that my contact form wasn’t working. Sure enough, it was not. I am not stupid but I am also not a coder so it took me about 15 minutes to figure it out. But I did it!
So if you’re in the neighborhood, or on the other side of the planet, you can now send me a message!
By the way, if you like dogs, and appreciate seeing the changing landscapes of rural America as the season and the weather roll on, check out Hounds and Other Stuff. Awesome photographs and interesting commentaries.
It’s almost time to pick and dry the oregano that will satisfy our oregano needs this coming winter. There’s comfort in that.
Meanwhile, we still have 27 pints of stewed tomatoes from last year. Many of the freezer bags say, “stewed with oreg.” Mr. Big Food tells me that if we still have frozen stewed tomatoes when I begin to harvest this year’s crop he’ll make homemade chili sauce.
As proprietor of Big Food, Big Garden, Big Life in rural Mississippi, I have entered the Big Garden phase of my Big Life. This morning it’s out to kill fire ants and spray Jordan’s blueberry & apple garden.
Today was the perfect day to try out my Ravpower solar panel. I plugged in my phone (under the pillowcase so as to not get too hot) at 3:12. It was at 58%. I looked at it about 3:45 and uttered an expletive! 81%!
Keep in mind that the energy is going to only one devise. There are three USB ports, so if you have three devises charging, it will take longer. On the flip side, that’s not the perfect angle, nor is it the perfect time of day.
The top photo is of an impression of Jesus’ hand as he stumbled while carrying the cross. Top row middle, Station VII along the way where Jesus fell a second time. Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Entry to the tomb.
This site has a telling of Via Dolorosa with a lot pf photos and descriptions of the stations.
We stopped traveling abroad years ago, but I’m thankful we made an exception to go to Israel and tour the Old City.
The religious value of such a picture lies in its power to revive personal memories. Death is one of the most solemn realities in the world; it is the door by which one passes from the seen and temporal into the more immediate consciousness of things unseen and eternal.
Commentary on Decent from the Cross by Peter Paul Rubens (1612) as quoted in the crappy old book, Christ and the Fine Arts (1938).
Decent from the Cross is the center panel of the alter-piece in the cathedral at Antwerp, Belgium, about 30 miles north of Brussels.
I’m tending the roses and grapes today. Big job. The grapes have really taken off but I did not realize they had so many suckers. Must go. Roses need attention. Big garden!
Guess what? It’s going to rain! And not just any old rain, thunderstorms and lightening and possible hail and tornadoes.
I’ve been outside since about 9:30 or so. In addition to the songs of nature, I’ve heard several lawn mowers, a couple of shots, and I think Mr. Cotton Farmer’s tractor. Everyone is getting ready for more rain.* The various theys are predicting 1-3″.
*We’re not the only ones with a range out here. Normally the other folks get their shooting time in on Saturday. But, you know, it’s going to rain.