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NEOWatcher
2007-Jun-11, 04:51 PM
Yes; Weather and not Whether...
I read this and just started shaking my head.
FBI: Person Submitting Bogus Weather Alerts (http://www.weathernet5.com/weather/13479050/detail.html)


MILWAUKEE -- Someone has been submitting fictional reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service, causing unnecessary alerts and frightening people.

The NWS is basing a weather alert on an anonymous tip on a website? :eek:

Maybe it's only the way the article is stated, but unlike a bomb threat or some other scare, there is lots of information to collaborate with.

And; I don't care what kind of disclaimer and warnings are on the site... the simple fact that it's anonymous is going to cause bogies.

sarongsong
2007-Jun-12, 01:11 AM
...The person started sending reports in mid-April through an online form on the service's Web site...Not easy to find on NWS Homepage (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/); searching site for "reporting form" yields links to the forms (http://usasearch.gov/search?v%3Aproject=firstgov&query=reporting+form&affiliate=nws.noaa.gov) by geographical areas.

cbacba
2007-Jun-12, 03:31 AM
There are official rainfall forms as well as severe weather alert forms. We have an nws rain gauge here and submit daily rainfall totals. Being trained by nws in skywarn classes we also look for and report dangerous weather conditions. Alternatives for these emergency submissions include the internet, telephone and via radio. Not all skywarn observers have that third option.

The web based emergency report method has been open to all, just like the telephone method. Reports of tornadoes on the ground, large hail, damaging winds can usually be determined by anyone. They can also be very localized phenomenon and having suitable conditions apparent on doppler is far more frequent than the actual formation of such things as tornadoes.

It is unfortunate that some kooks (or worse) attempt to capitalize on this opportunity. To restrict the access to trained skywarn volunteers or some subset of the populace, one is risking the prospects of serious casualties due to lack of warning.

While there are doubtless many improvements that can be made, it would appear that the risks associated with a failure to warn probably outweigh the risks of a fraudulent alarm. As such, it would seem most prudent to keep it open and let the FBI investigate and prosecute the frauds, or just ship the perps off to Gitmo for evaluation. Making the liklihood of getting caught high and the punishments severe will tend to constrain the liklihood of false reports being submitted.

sarongsong
2007-Jun-12, 03:39 AM
There are official rainfall forms as well as severe weather alert forms...The web based emergency report method has been open to all, just like the telephone method...Since there's no apparent reference of this reporting method on their Homepage, have you found a direct link that explains all this?