65
      Sunday
      90 / 64
      Monday
      80 / 62
      Tuesday
      73 / 54

      Weather warnings cry wolf?

      When severe weather rolls through the area, not everyone takes heed to the warnings. How do people react when they see a weather warning on TV or hear one on the radio?

      "I go in the basement and I listen for the civil defense alarm," said Chris Hultquist.

      But a lot of times, text scrolling on the screen just won't cut it for some folks.

      "Well, either I look at it, or sometimes I change the channel," said Montanna Viitala.

      "First thing we do is go out and take a look at the sky and see what it looks like," said Dave Bluhm.

      Public complacency toward weather warnings is an issue in the weather community.

      "We realize how things work," said Matt Zika, N.W.S. Meteorologist. "In a perfect world, we'd want them to. As soon as you issue a warning, we'd want people to put their safety precautions in effect. But in reality, people need to feel that they are in imminent danger before they need to take some sort of action."

      And our local U.P. storm pattern doesn't really help things out either, often causing a cry wolf effect on viewers.

      "A lot of our storms are what we consider to be marginally severe storms where they may be very close to that threshold; we use to issue a weather warning for them," Zika said. "And that makes it very challenging from our perspective, and then to try to get people to take the warning seriously, too, when we do issue them."

      But all it took was a single close encounter with a storm for one man to take caution.

      "It was a lightning flash after the race last night, and ten were injured and one was killed. So, of course, I take it into consideration," said one man in Marquette.

      Bottom line, it's obviously better to be safe than sorry. In fact, in recent years, there's been a study done on this issue and it, along with several other factors, prompted the National Weather Service to up their criteria needed for a severe warning.

      So, that means the next time you hear a weather warning, remember that when they issue one of those, they mean business. They're not just pulling your leg; there's a real severe weather threat.