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Meteorologist James Spann on Tornado Coverage: ‘We’re Not as Good as We Think We Are’

In an interview with NPR, veteran meteorologist James Spann, who has become something of a severe weather pundit during his time at ABC 33/40, highlighted the limitations he and his colleagues face when covering tornadoes.

“We’re not as good as we think we are, and we have to accept that and work on it and be better, and admit the warning process has some work to do,” Spann said, referring to the public’s over-reliance on typical tornado warnings, such as sirens.

Spann has long been an outspoken critic of the warning process.

Following last April’s tornado outbreak, Spann wrote a long blog post about “the siren mentality.”

“I firmly believe apathy and complacency due to a high false alarm ratio over the years led to inaction in many cases that could have cost lives,” Spann wrote.  “Too many people believe they should hear a siren before a tornado strikes.”

“TV stations must stream their long form tornado coverage in a way that is accessible to all portable devices, not just some of them,” he added.  “And, make the stream easy to find either via a web page or app.”

[NPR]

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