This is just a concept, not a project about to be built. But it’s certainly intriguing. Full story in tomorrow’s paper.
Having some final thoughts about this weekend’s discussion. Why not throw some hardball questions not just at Mike Morgan, but also at Rick Mitchell, Gary England and Brady Brus?
Give Mike credit for at least firing back. Now let’s see if the others do as well. Maybe we can understand them better. Or maybe they’ll end up with a better understanding of their viewers’ concerns.
1. Are you the final word on forecasts at your station? Is there anyone in a position to second guess your forecast or call it into question?
2. Do you believe your judgment is better than that of the National Weather Service? If so, why?
3. When you are about to broadcast a forecast that is dramatically different than that of the National Weather Service and other stations (as with Friday’s call for a “significant icing event” and power outages in Oklahoma City), do you put a call out to the National Weather Service to ask why they’re not making the same call?
4. Should television weather forecasters be in contact with the National Weather Service when their forecasts are at odds?
5. Is there pressure by producers or station management to add drama or excitement to your forecasts?
6. How aware are you of the loss that is sustained by businesses by bad forecasts?
Gary, Rick and Brady – Mike and I are waiting for you to join in on the fun!
I received four different emails from Mike Morgan where he expressed his frustration with yesterday’s post about his forecasts how downtown merchants were upset over how fear of a snow storm, and then ice, both of which didn’t happen, cost them business.
Not sure I learned anything from Mike’s emails about how the forecasts were so wrong for the metro. To be fair, the folks at KWTV and KOCO called for 3-6 inches of snow for the metro – and were also way off base.
But at least we have KOCO’s meteorologist Andy Wallace to explain what happened. Here’s a bit of what he had to say:
The warm nose is what got us yesterday. The National Weather Service in Norman sent up a special weather balloon yesterday around 1pm. The resulting sounding (snapshot of the atmosphere) showed a layer of very warm air above the surface. This was warmer than depicted on the computer models. Combine that with warm surface temperatures, and basically we kept precipitation as some much needed rain in OKC.
To read Andy’s full blog post – which is very, very good (as is the overall blog), visit http://kocoweatherblog.wordpress.com/2009/03/28/who-did-who-didnt/
So this discussion started with Jim Cowan, director of the Bricktown Association, complaining about what he felt was hype by tv weather forecasters and how it was costing downtown merchants business.
I then brought up how Mike Morgan was singled out for criticism at www.okctalk.com and what I heard from his forecasts. Was it fair for OKC Talk to focus on Morgan? I’d be curious to hear your comments. I have no agenda, other than to air people’s views, provide more of the behind-the-scenes details to stories, and go more in-depth on issues relating to downtown and the city.
There has not been a convergence relationship between The Oklahoman and KWTV for the past year and from what I’ve seen we’re truly competitors again.
Now for Mike Morgan’s response, unedited:
Hello there Steve,I don’t know you, but I feel compelled to draw to your attention to your unfair focus of attacks on me.I will draw to your attention, three prime examples of why my forecasts, at granted a later period in the OKC Forecast time line, we far better than others being presented at the exact same, or even later time.1) Mark Shannon’s live radio forecast at 5:45PM Friday. My Quote ” I am now swinging the other way….less snow in OKC than the NWS forecast.”2) I was appalled to listen to Gary England during the OU Basketball game of his live broadcast of Quote “ 4-7 inches of Snow with shutdown roads in OKC” This was between 7 and 8PM Friday Night…..after I had already stated on Channel 4′s 430-5-6 and 630PM newscasts of Quote ” Less snow in OKC than earlier expected, 2-4 inches, Slick spots.and3) Saturday Morning’s live weather castsChannel 9, Quote “OKC travel conditions today not very good at all”My quote, repeatedly ” OKC roads are fine, ONLY WET.” Even went to the extent of showing a viewer email from a shopping mall merchant stating “roads are fine, please come out and shop” and THAT I AGREED WITH HER!!You are affiliated loosely with TV9 since your email address is from the Oklahoman, your heavily slanted rant is not surprising…..been there, done that….I ask you now, show some balls and lift this email and prominently post it on your twitter site!OK?I am a great husband, very happily married to a nurse from Bristow and father of two, raising 5th generation Oklahoma kids.You may, or a few others may think I have some hidden deviant agenda, I can tell you I do not. I always just try my best. At least I do it face to face with my viewers, and not behind the auspices of a computer keyboard.With all that being said, I get it when it comes to cyberspace opinions, folks say things they would never say in person, but I also am keen to people in the media with agenda’s, and I see one forming with you. I am just here to point out a few “other” angles you needed to open your eyes to.At least I began to change my forecast as I saw it change, can we say the same about you?Sincerely,Mike MorganWeather forecaster in Oklahoma since the age of 10, that was 1974.cc Mark Shannon
Jim Cowan’s first day on Twitter ended with the following message last night: “Weathermen in OKC have cost our local economy thousands of dollars…will anyone ever hold them accountable? Where’s the snow?????”
Um, it’s not here.
So let’s focus in on just one guy, Mike Morgan. Here’s what was said at www.okctalk.com about Mike before the winter storm of the century was set to move into Oklahoma City:
Anyone Else Tired of Mike Morgan?!?!
Seriously. My coworker comes to me today and says “Did you see his forcast last night?! Such a drama queen!!!” Then she goes on to imitate him…”This IS GOING TO BE the largest snowstorm of the year!! Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah”. And I was just laughing & agreeing because I did see it and it was ridiculous.
Slowly and progressively the other channels have come around to saying there is a slight chance and I’m talking about the kinda slight chance where you have two invisible pennies between your thumb and pointer finger! And maybe Mike isn’t that crazy because Sarah Libby on KOCO’s weather blog is forcasting 2-4″ here & 4-6″ just northwest of the OKC metro area. But at least she states “Keep in mind…this will be tweaked in the days ahead”.
I still think it’s funny and I do realize they’re forecasting for the whole state, but considering the largest concentration of your audience is in the metro area, maybe you should first address that this is hardly going to be a ‘SUPER CRAZY DAISEY WEEKEND’. Oh & Loretta will be able to get out of the house because Friday Night In the Big Town will be A-OK (yes, I know that’s Gary)!
Don’t get me wrong. I think Mike is an awesome individual and he has a common hobby with myself, but sometimes–I take that back, all the time–his weather coverage perturbs me.
This complaint dates back to Wednesday. Not one person in the discussion thread really took issue with it.
Now let’s consider what happened over the next couple days. Morgan went against the National Weather Service and the other locals and warned Oklahoma City’s snowfall would hit between six and ten inches instead of the three to six being called for by everyone else.
Then, yesterday, Mike came up with yet another unique forecast – “a significant icing event.” He warned power outages would be possible. Again, nobody else was calling for this, not even the National Weather Service. On KTOK Friday afternoon he commented “I admit I’ve been all over on this one.”
Yeah Mike, you have.
So everyone freaked out, events got cancelled, my wife got to leave work early even though it was only raining.
Big events in Bricktown got cancelled. And the window weathermen can report what Mike Morgan could not: we got a dusting of snow. The drama is in far northwest Oklahoma, hours away from the metro.
This is why I don’t stop everything when the weather guys predict the end of the world. I stay alert, I keep an eye on things. But why stop all life based on their alerts?
Now, here’s one final fun fact to share: Usually “sweeps month” – the period that is so crucial for determining ad dollars, etc., is every February. This year it’s March due to the DTV conversion.
Look at OKC is reporting the grand opening this weekend for America’s Pub is on hold due to the weather.
Meanwhile, another new entry to Bricktown, Put a Cork In It, is going to be open Sunday afternoon, 2-6.
The Planning Commission, meanwhile, cleared another hurdle for the Detox Center to move out of Deep Deuce and onto Linwood Boulevard west of downtown. Next stop – the city council. Expect some vocal opposition from folks along Linwood.
And then there is more intriguing news coming up about the city’s urban design committees. We’ll get to that on Monday.
Considering all the discussion and debate prompted by Tuesday’s column on Jeff Speck and Automobile Alley, let’s have a vote:
I’m still skeptical about the long-term for Twitter, but there is no denying it’s a useful way to learn who is out there following the blog. And for OKC Central, the answer is, refreshingly, a broad mix that spans generations and backgrounds. It’s especially thrilling to find out they include a high school student who is an aspiring filmmaker and other younger readers.
As an aside to all this, I’ll be up and running some more blog posts today. I’ve been out of the office the past couple days, taking care of a toddler with a stomach bug. And yeah, that can be kind of distracting.
In the meantime, my best friend and co-author, Jack Money, is no longer with The Oklahoman but he’s still out there writing. He has a great post on the history of downtown’s one-way streets at our private website, www.okchistory.com. What Jack discovered is that the city has been going back and forth on one-way strets a lot longer than one might guess.
Have a great day and watch the weather – the latest report indicates snow and ice might come in before the drive home.
Dave Cathey has a good story on downtown’s vibrant restaurant scene – and surprise, surprise, there are plenty of options outside of Bricktown (nothing against Bricktown, of course).
Sometimes you’ve got to wonder about the folks posting comments on stories at NewsOk. On today’s story about Jeff Speck’s recommendations to make downtown more walkable we see the following comment:
The streets were designed before MAPS destroyed Downtown and caused a mass exodus to the suburbs. It seems our ‘improvements’ always result in a need for more ‘improvement’. Perhaps research into the domino effect of these changes would result in better and more far reaching plans requiring less remedial action.
Arlie, Midwest City – Mar 20, 2009 at 10:38 AM