Synopsis: There are too many alerts containing overblown/non-applicable impacts and unnecessary instructions. Continue reading to see which alerts will now be displayed on the home page and why.
I’ve grown weary of all the alerts from the NWS that either 1) don’t apply within the city limits of Marquette or 2) don’t meet legitimate criteria for issuance.
Take, for example, Saturday morning’s wind chill advisory where there were virtually calm winds for hours while air temps were above 0.
Or consider the recent winter storm warning (for 2/7/19) where most parts of the county got 5-7″ and published guidelines require 8″ in 12 hours or 10″ in 24 hours. This occurred despite a drying trend in the model guidance even before the warning was issued. In isolation, this wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately, we haven’t had a single storm that meets warning criteria this winter (at least not in Marquette). Yet how many warnings have we had? I’ve lost count.
I’m sure any decision can be justified as following the spirit rather than the letter of the law. To that I say “if you can bend the rules one way, you can bend them the other. ”
I think, in general, more deference should be shown toward the unflappable, resilient spirit of Marquette and the U.P. We do not need alerts every time more than 2″ of snow is going to fall. Marquette normally receives ~10ft of snow per year. That’s a steady stream of statements & advisories notifying us that it’s, indeed, winter.
Furthermore, and I’m sorry/not sorry for the grumpy old man rant here, we don’t need to be constantly told how to dress, drive, and survive historically unremarkable winter events. Anyone who is that ignorant or helpless here is unlikely to fully read and heed the information anyway.
I may be told there is nothing that can be done because of mandates from on high. God (D.C.) has ordained these things and, therefore, all things are in their proper order. Well, in fact, there is something I can do. As of earlier today, I have suspended all but the most life-threatening notifications from the home page. These include: tornado watches/warnings, flood watches/warnings and ice storm warnings. Those are, indeed, unexpected events that can catch people unaware and endanger them without proper notification. The rest can be handled by the forecast.
The area page will continue to show all alerts for two reasons. First, most alerts are for the area rather than the city which is the focus of the home page. Secondly, I realize not everyone will agree with my decision, and I believe in freedom of choice.
[UPDATE Mon 2/11/19 12:15PM]: After further consideration, I am going to allow Winter Storm Warnings to post on the home page. This is because Marquetters frequently travel outside the city. At least as important, the alert serves as a heads up to check the forecast and prepare for something other than the standard inch or two of snow.