Monday, May 14, 2007

Viewer Complaints

In the last couple of days, I've received two emails complaining about WLBT's lack of weather coverage. It seems some viewers are confused as to what the difference is between a thunderstorm and a severe thunderstorm.
I'm very disappointed in the weather coverage for southwest Mississippi. This morning we are experiencing fairly severe thunderstorms and heavy rain but there is NO coverage on WLBT to let us what's coming next. It seems that once the bad weather passes central Mississippi and the Jackson metro area, the coverage stops. The last coverage we had was over an hour ago and it stated the the line of heavy thunderstorms would be in the Tylertown area (our home) in 15 minutes. No word since to let us know what's on the way, not even the little corner box you had up all last night. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened. I've considered calling or emailing several times to complain but today I just have to speak my mind. Please don't ignore you viewers in SW Mississippi. Our safety is just as important as the the folks' in central Mississippi. The people in this area have been loyal WLBT viewers for many years and we deserve the same attention as your other viewers. Signed, R. K. Fountain, Tylertown

Hi Barbie,
So many people depend on WLBT for their weather especially when bad weather is approaching. Recently though Smith County doesn't always go under a severe weather alert when it is approaching. We had a severe storm through here last week and I never saw an alert for Smith County although Simpson was under a warning. Got pretty windy! I remember one other storm also recently. I have heard some others comment about it too. Just want you to be aware. All of us complainers continue to watch WLBT though because you all do such a good job.
Signed, Joyce in Smith County

Some storms that occur may seem severe, but according to the National Weather Service, they aren't. A storm becomes severe when it reaches a certain threshold, including winds in excess of 55 mph as well as other factors (possibility of hail, heavy rain, etc). I cannot issue my own personal severe thunderstorm warnings. If I did, the FCC would have my hide. We must wait on the NWS to issue the warning first. Once that is done, you will see the warning crawl on your tv screen and your county will be highlighted alerting viewers to the fact there is a storm that is considered severe.

No, we are not ignoring southwest Mississippi nor showing partiality towards the metro area. What may seem severe to one will not likely be to the NWS. So stay tuned and know that when you see your county under a warning, it is coming directly from the NWS. My job is to help keep you safe in each instance and encourage safety and common sense.


KeithAR2002 said...

Well explainded ! The stations around here only show weather coverage maps for their signal coverage area... which is a little strange. The exception would be all the LR affiliates, with cover the entire state, even for those counties not in the LR DMA. Monroe stations only cover the Monroe/Northeast LA area, which is unfortunate fr viewers in South Arkansas. Barbie, I've even seen you mention a couple counties in Arkansas on you reports. I didn't know WLBT's signal reached that far. I know that Ashley and Chicot counties are in the Jackson NWS coverage area, is that what you meant?

Barbie Bassett said...

Yes, Ashley and Chicot counties in ARK pick up the WLBT signal, although they are not considered our "designated market area" (or DMA)--because there television stations closer to those areas than Jackson. We also have 5 Louisiana parishes in our viewing area, plus the 26 counties in MS that we are responsible for.

glenn said...

I think you and the whole weather team do a great job with the weather coverage. I live in southwest Mississippi, and I have never felt slighted or left out of any watches, warnings, etc.. Sometimes people are just looking for an excuse to be critical, I guess. Maybe they just need some cheese to go with their whine? ;) Keep up the good work!