Scattershooting 170513

Scattershooting while wondering what happened to the SHIFT key on many Internet users’ keyboards…

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of so-called “Impact Based Warning” text statements, given their purely and entirely reactionary origins in the Joplin tornado event, their objectively unproven socioeconomic contribution, and their implementation without thorough and extensive social-science vetting (by that, I mean rooted in a priori formally published research specifically justifying them). Instead IBWs were hurried to use in order to put on a show, yes, a show, that something — anything — was being done about focusing on “impact” as well as the weather itself. Or to put it concisely: reactionary window dressing. Then recently, assorted peanut-gallery commenters in social media whined that a watch in a “high risk” outlook wasn’t buzzed PDS (“Particularly Dangerous Situation”). Obviously such complainers are not cognizant enough of the outlook/watch process to realize that a watch in an outlook area can be (and was) for a different, earlier, not-as-dangerous part of the threat evolution as what was discussed in the outlook for later in the day, despite being over some of the same geographic region. News flash: more than one round of severe weather can happen over the same area, and the threat in each can be a lot different! All that said: Chuck Doswell, thank you for saving me time in ranting about this much further, because you already have expressed essentially the same sentiments, in this BLOG entry: “Wordsmithing the watches and warnings is not the path to improvement .” I won’t even post a comment on Chuck’s site because our thoughts match so closely that I have little, if anything, useful to add. Bravo and applause…

Except on seldom occasions, for the purposes of correction and education, I almost never engage Twitter trolls regarding controversial severe-storms-forecasting topics. It’s largely a waste of time trying to convince non-experts, who vastly overestimate their own understanding, who are clearly ignorant of their level of ignorance. Like it or not, my approach is to apply a credibility filter to “feedback” about severe-weather forecasts, external or within-agency. The more scientific credentials and specialized severe-storms prediction experience on the part of the source, the more value I assign to their feedback. Don’t like that policy? Look in the mirror for the solution. Quite bluntly: gain credibility. This means years and years of dedication, effort, and diligence. Get educated and experienced. Do research. Publish papers. Forecast nationally over many years and many scenarios. If that sounds exclusive, that’s because it is. The ranks of world-class severe-weather prediction experts are exceedingly small, and most work in one office. The farther removed a source of feedback is from that level of expertise, the less and less credibility that source has.

Put your actions where your ideals are, or those ideals are just characters on a computer screen. They mean nothing more. That is a matter of principle, and many examples abound in life. To wit: At least a dozen individuals I know on Facebook, and many more of their sycophantic commenters, have supported allowing young-adult male “refugees” from Islamic-majority nations into America. Some even try to manipulatively lay the “bad Christian” guilt trip on you — as if the cafeteria-Christian left would know diddly-squat about Christian ethics anyway. And yet…and yet…not one of them (Christian, atheist or otherwise) has a combat-age male Muslim “refugee” living in his or her home. In fact, I know of none yet who have housed any Muslim “refugees”, nor personally subsidized their housing elsewhere. There you go. From that alone, and nothing else, we see the deeper truth about the (lack of) authenticity of their conviction. The real test of principle is in actions, not words.


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