When Weather is News: Alabama Tornadoes

Alabama Tornado Damage

Sad news coming from Alabama where almost two dozen people died in tornadoes on Sunday. 

This will be a story in many local newscasts around the country. Producers should consider adding an early hit with a member of the weather team to add depth to the news coverage.

Here are some story ideas to consider:

  • At least one tornado was ranked an EF-4. Explain the Enhanced Fujita Scale and the differences in damage.
  • Compare the number of tornadoes reported this year to the last few years. (Hint: it’s significantly less than 2017 and 2016.) Data from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is available here.
  • However, the number of tornado deaths from this storm alone are more than what was reported in 2018. Compare the numbers.
  • SPC had parts of the deep south outlined for potential severe weather four days ago. Explain the improvements in forecasting and the watch/warning system.
  • March is the beginning of severe weather season. Talk about the prevailing weather patterns that could produce more of these types of storms the next few months.
  • Be prepared. Demonstrate how to program notifications on your local weather app.

In addition to adding relevant information, these stories will demonstrate the expertise of your weather team.

These could be produced and packaged for digital platforms as well. To maximize your efforts, program these supplemental stories to autoplay immediately after online updates about the Alabama tornadoes.

Contact Tim Heller below for additional training, coaching and guidance on weather content creation.