Sunday, June 08, 2008

WOWT's Weather Coverage Gets Even More Curious

Well, gee, just a few days after WOWT-channel 6's Stanley Cup hailstorm fiasco, channel 6's "weather" coverage became even more impossible to understand. On Thursday night, while KMTV-Channel 3 and KETV-Channel 7 were tracking tornadoes as they passed southeast of Omaha, WOWT couldn't bear themselves to break into "Last Comic Standing."

So let me get this straight... Bill Bellamy is more important than the Stanley Cup?


Then this morning, I awoke to sound of wind and rain blowing in my bedroom window. After quickly getting the windows closed, I clicked on the TV to see what was up, and found only KETV-channel 7 on the air...and their on-screen radar showed one of those rotating thingys about a mile from my house. Then suddenly, KETV's Chuck McWilliams announced the tornado warning, sending me upstairs to fetch my wife and daughter. As I went up the stairs, the sirens began to sound, and we descended to the basement to wait out the storm.

Once downstairs, we fired up the big screen and started watching storm coverage...with KETV-7 being the only station on the air, letting me know details of a damage path that ended within a few blocks of my parents' house. KMTV finally broke into programming about a half-hour late, while it took nearly a full hour for WOWT to break into programming.

Fortunately, the damage at my parents' house was limited to tree damage, knocking out the power. I got to spend my afternoon helping dig out my parents neighborhood from tree limbs, as well as salvage what food could be saved from the refrigerator. They got off lucky...several people lost their homes. And fortunately, nobody appears to have been injured from these storms.

But now that the tree limbs are out at the curb, the question needs to be asked... WTF was up with pre-empting Stanley Cup coverage (then showing useless split screen coverage of a hailstorm), then forgoing any coverage of tornadoes during "Last Comic Standing" or old westerns in the middle of the night?


doombob said...

I cannot wait for digital TV to take hold. As long as most broadcasting stations stick to Standard Definition, then we can switch to sub channels in order to watch the weather warning. (like 7.1, 7.2, 6.1, 6.2 etc.) Feb 2009 is the cutoff date for the DTV switch. If a broadcasting station goes High Def, there is no sub station, but you get awesome surround sound!

Husker Mike said...

Actually, many stations can fit an HD channel and one or two subchannels into their bandwidth. NET fits two sub-SD channels with their HD signal.

I think channel 7 is experimenting with running a ticker on their main HD channel during major events, then broadcasting the detailed coverage on their 7.2 channel.

Anonymous said...

Wow - it really must be the dog days of summer... ;-)

hackermav said...

And what was up with all the channels pre-empting tv last night for coverage of........a 'garden variety' thunderstorm (compliments of Jim Flowers?

Seems like they are a little gun shy after missing Sundays tornado.

Husker Mike said...

Channel 3 pretty much admitted last evening that after Sunday morning, they were going to err on the side of preempting regular programming for weather alerts. It's CYA overkill.

hackermav said...

Now it's 2 tornadoes. I wondered why I was woken up at 2:15am without the sirens, the second tornado was over my house.

Was your parents home in the apth of the second tornado? Might explain the damage.

Husker Mike said...

Actually, turns out they were under the path of tornado #1... We wondered about it on Sunday, because one limb in their back yard did not appear to come from any adjacent trees.