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Are there too many weather warnings?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,546 ✭✭✭✭MJohnston


    I was being sarcastic!!! Sorry!

    I'll have to call Poe's Law on it, it's definitely something people would seriously demand


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,534 ✭✭✭Radharc na Sleibhte


    GreeBo wrote: »
    A few gob****es are not a good reason to stop giving weather warnings.


    How can you possibly give any weather warning if thats your criteria?
    Sure then you could only give them retrospectively!?


    People who ignore warnings are gob****es, in your own words...who cares what they do?

    All I can do is speak for my own experiences and my own region with the red warnings issued to date. I have to drive Rossnowlagh-Crossmolina-CarrickOnShannon every single day and what was warned for our region never even came close to the whole “red warning stay indoors”. Maybe met need more investment or outside help to issue more accurate forecasts and so, more accurate warnings.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,700 ✭✭✭firemansam4


    Christy42 wrote: »
    An Orange warning is not a you may get very serious weather. Warnings are given out based on the severity of the weather event. Not the probability of it occurring. To begin with people have a tendancy to be really bad with probability.

    You tell people there is a 30% chance of a severe snowstorm I guarantee people will complain they were not properly warned if they have to trek home or their kids get stuck in a school.

    Finally people are seriously, seriously over hyping the damage caused by an red alert that ended up not being needed in parts. Some even seem to be embarrassed by the response and praising the UK. I don't know about others but if I was a foreign observer and I saw area with red warning sees no snow and 1000 cars stuck on motorway I know which country I would judge a lot more.

    So then maybe the definition of an orange warning needs to be changed.

    What if there is a 1 percent chance of severe weather, do you still issue a red alert?

    I think that the red in most other counties was definitely warranted, just not a nationwide red alert


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,219 ✭✭✭Gaoth Laidir


    So common sense prevailed in Glasnevin and they got rid of that red warning for the northwest. It was never needed. Hopefully lessons will be learned for the future.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,546 ✭✭✭✭MJohnston


    So common sense prevailed in Glasnevin and they got rid of that red warning for the northwest. It was never needed. Hopefully lessons will be learned for the future.

    Disappointing to hear you say something like that.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,879 ✭✭✭Christy42


    So then maybe the definition of an orange warning needs to be changed.

    What if there is a 1 percent chance of severe weather, do you still issue a red alert?

    I think that the red in most other counties was definitely warranted, just not a nationwide red alert

    Of it happens people will complain and the consequences would be far more serious. There is no point giving warnings in percentages as people won't understand them. Weather severity is easier. It is also more important for helping people decide what to do. Red warning tells people if it happens it will be serious


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 695 ✭✭✭beefburrito


    All I can do is speak for my own experiences and my own region with the red warnings issued to date. I have to drive Rossnowlagh-Crossmolina-CarrickOnShannon every single day and what was warned for our region never even came close to the whole “red warning stay indoors”. Maybe met need more investment or outside help to issue more accurate forecasts and so, more accurate warnings.

    What happens if the wind decides not to do what the weather forecast suggested.

    That's like telling a flock of starlings to stand still.

    Does an eel swim straight....

    I think some people think this cold spell came from a big freezer, kind of like kids thinking cod comes from the fridge....

    Millenials ffs


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,219 ✭✭✭Gaoth Laidir


    MJohnston wrote: »
    Disappointing to hear you say something like that.

    Why? There was never any evidence that a red was needed. They went for the northwest because, well, the rest of country was red. Same as Ophelia, but at least in that case we're talking wind, which can spring an invisible risk on you in the form of a falling tree (though again, there was no evidence that that would happen in a large part of the country).

    Joanna's video after midnight the other was as unconvincing as they come. I don't think even she herself was really 100% convinced with the decision.

    Anyway, water under the bridge at this stage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,534 ✭✭✭Radharc na Sleibhte


    What happens if the wind decides not to do what the weather forecast suggested.

    That's like telling a flock of starlings to stand still.

    Does an eel swim straight....

    I think some people think this cold spell came from a big freezer, kind of like kids thinking cod comes from the fridge....

    Millenials ffs

    Ha, I’m no millennial.
    I don’t expect starlings to stand still, but I do expect Met to get their upppermost highest level red warnings at least somewhat correct, especially considering the drama, hype and subsequent shutdown they cause nowadays.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,110 ✭✭✭piplip87


    Yes where I am the waring system has being a joke this week. On Tuesday when the initial warnings where released we where left off. Woke up Wednesday Morning to a couple of CM, was upgraded to yellow then but from Wednesday until this morning we have had massive amounts of Snow but because there was no warning a lot of people where caught out.

    I am in Virginia in Cavan 10 KM from the Meath Boarder. We should have being in the orginial Orange/Red Warnings.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 695 ✭✭✭beefburrito


    Ha, I’m no millennial.
    I don’t expect starlings to stand still, but I do expect Met to get their upppermost highest level red warnings at least somewhat correct, especially considering the drama, hype and subsequent shutdown they cause nowadays.

    I can see where you're coming from, and if it's been a hindrance on you,sorry to hear that.

    I suppose I'm fortunate not to have to get to work since Wednesday afternoon and I'm getting paid for it.

    Well stocked up with food here,and my misfortune is I can't collect my son,but we're in regular contact via the phone.

    Hopefully in the morning I can get him from his mum's.

    Sorry for jumping to a conclusion that you're a millennial.

    Hope you get to do what needs doing....


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,534 ✭✭✭Radharc na Sleibhte


    I can see where you're coming from, and if it's been a hindrance on you,sorry to hear that.

    I suppose I'm fortunate not to have to get to work since Wednesday afternoon and I'm getting paid for it.

    Well stocked up with food here,and my misfortune is I can't collect my son,but we're in regular contact via the phone.

    Hopefully in the morning I can get him from his mum's.

    Sorry for jumping to a conclusion that you're a millennial.

    Hope you get to do what needs doing....

    Quite the opposite. I love an excuse to do nothing. Wife is a teacher and she was delighted with the time off. Kids are only toddlers so didn’t affect them at all. The only disappointment was I had them looking forward to snow.

    However, I think going forward we need definitive guidelines from Met and Gov about what a red warning means, in every respect. I also think the highest warning should be reserved for exceptional circumstances, such as what a lot of the country experienced. Having said that, it’s all 100 times better than it was 10 or 15 years ago.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,700 ✭✭✭firemansam4


    Christy42 wrote: »
    Of it happens people will complain and the consequences would be far more serious. There is no point giving warnings in percentages as people won't understand them. Weather severity is easier. It is also more important for helping people decide what to do. Red warning tells people if it happens it will be serious

    I dont think warnings should be given in percentages, but I think an orange warning can be changed to include there being a risk of severe dangerous conditions and that people should take action if necessary. Leaving it down to common sense for local schools and businesses to close as the situation develops.
    The red warning jusr seemed to severe for some places on this ocasion IMO.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 17,642 Mod ✭✭✭✭Graham


    Leaving it down to common sense for local schools and businesses to close as the situation develops.

    I can think of 2 flaws in this approach.

    1) teachers and business owners aren't qualified to forecast the weather. It's a tough enough job for those who are qualified and have access to all the information.
    2) there are weather conditions where if you wait until it's developed, you're already too late.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,700 ✭✭✭firemansam4


    Graham wrote: »
    I can think of 2 flaws in this approach.

    1) teachers and business owners aren't qualified to forecast the weather. It's a tough enough job for those who are qualified and have access to all the information.
    2) there are weather conditions where if you wait until it's developed, you're already too late.

    They wont need to forecast the weather, just look outside and check the conditions.
    There was one ocasion earlier in the year here in Donegal we had snowfall and the roads were treacherous, so they made the decision to close the school. There was no weather warnings on that ocasion.
    Yet this time the roads were perfectly safe and there was no settled snowfall, but the school had to close due to the national red alert.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,114 ✭✭✭✭GreeBo


    They wont need to forecast the weather, just look outside and check the conditions.
    There was one ocasion earlier in the year here in Donegal we had snowfall and the roads were treacherous, so they made the decision to close the school. There was no weather warnings on that ocasion.
    Yet this time the roads were perfectly safe and there was no settled snowfall, but the school had to close due to the national red alert.

    You seem to be under the impression that snow only falls at night and so everyone is in a position to decide to close or not in the morning.


    Are you maybe confusing weather with the moon?

    12" of snow fell today during the afternoon...how does that work if kids are sitting in the classroom since 9am when it was fine to travel?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,730 ✭✭✭CelticRambler


    Yes, by community and postcode too.
    MJohnston wrote: »
    I think that's likely to be far too expensive for ME to ever be able to do, and the forecasts are not even vaguely close to being capable of that kind of precision.
    I was being sarcastic!!! Sorry!

    No need to apologise, nor be sarcastic, because that kind of forecasting is not expensive, and is entirely reliable.

    I'm on the organising committee of a music and dance festival in the summer, and we get hour-by-hour forecasts of what weather to expect in terms of wind speed and direction, volume and duration of rain, and the risk of lightning strikes, all so that we can shift ten thousand bales of straw int the carpark field, or drop the canopy over the main stage, or put back or bring forward (or cancel) the next act.

    It's not rocket science, it's proven meteorolgical forecasting - but you need to have people who can interpret the information and act accordingly. When you're dealing with a general public made up of people are determined to go to work even though there'll be nothing for them to do, bosses who are determined to make their staff put in the hours, children who may or may not get stranded at school because their parents couldn't be bothered to think for themselves, a whole host of reasonable adults with reasonable fears about whether their insurance will cover them for damage/cancellation/injury/third-party claims/whatever .... not to mention the folk who are desperate to criticise the government for whatever they do, the relevant authorities have no choice but to choose a simplified "lowest common denominator" plan of action.

    I have a friend in Dublin who was banging on about it all being hyped up; I also have two cousins in Meath who ended up abandonning their cars at lunchtime, well before the Red warning went live at 16h00.

    It'd be far more constructive for the critics - here and out in the real world - to propose workable suggestions for future weather events so that everyone can learn from the experience.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,700 ✭✭✭firemansam4


    GreeBo wrote: »
    You seem to be under the impression that snow only falls at night and so everyone is in a position to decide to close or not in the morning.


    Are you maybe confusing weather with the moon?

    12" of snow fell today during the afternoon...how does that work if kids are sitting in the classroom since 9am when it was fine to travel?

    Why are you being so condescending?

    I am talking about a region that was never even forecast to get much snow. where you are talking about was completely justified in having a red alert, and is not what im talking about at all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭spookwoman


    No need to apologise, nor be sarcastic, because that kind of forecasting is not expensive, and is entirely reliable.

    I'm on the organising committee of a music and dance festival in the summer, and we get hour-by-hour forecasts of what weather to expect in terms of wind speed and direction, volume and duration of rain, and the risk of lightning strikes, all so that we can shift ten thousand bales of straw int the carpark field, or drop the canopy over the main stage, or put back or bring forward (or cancel) the next act.

    It's not rocket science, it's proven meteorolgical forecasting - but you need to have people who can interpret the information and act accordingly. When you're dealing with a general public made up of people are determined to go to work even though there'll be nothing for them to do, bosses who are determined to make their staff put in the hours, children who may or may not get stranded at school because their parents couldn't be bothered to think for themselves, a whole host of reasonable adults with reasonable fears about whether their insurance will cover them for damage/cancellation/injury/third-party claims/whatever .... not to mention the folk who are desperate to criticise the government for whatever they do, the relevant authorities have no choice but to choose a simplified "lowest common denominator" plan of action.

    I have a friend in Dublin who was banging on about it all being hyped up; I also have two cousins in Meath who ended up abandonning their cars at lunchtime, well before the Red warning went live at 16h00.

    It'd be far more constructive for the critics - here and out in the real world - to propose workable suggestions for future weather events so that everyone can learn from the experience.

    I do agree that there needs to be warnings that go out and the possible dangers especially high winds, low visibility and the risk of getting stuck in your car in the middle of nowhere but like you said there are people who don't want to take responsibility for their actions and when it goes wrong its everyones fault but their own. I think a lot of people these days want to be handheld through everything and they are not as aware of their surroundings.
    I don't know if its people being naive or as they say the attention span and ability of make a sensible decision is lacking these days.

    There is a a certain amount of over hype, calling it beast from the east is one. It's like everything has to be hashtagged and dramatised, it's getting like American TV . Also it looks like some of the met lot are trying to out do each other and adding to the hysteria. Gerry and Evelyn were the only ones that didn't actually sound nearly hysterical when doing the forecasts on RTE.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,114 ✭✭✭✭GreeBo


    Why are you being so condescending?

    I am talking about a region that was never even forecast to get much snow. where you are talking about was completely justified in having a red alert, and is not what im talking about at all.

    Apologies.:o
    I find it very frustrating when people are using hindsight to complain about weather forecasters trying to save lives with rapidly changing data.
    What do you think is in it for them whether its Orange or Red Warning?
    Its not a bonus driven profession.

    There have already been posters who have shown charts that show red warnings were applicable everywhere, and thats without the wind shifting.

    Do you not agree that its better to warn and be wrong than not warn and be wrong?:confused:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,730 ✭✭✭CelticRambler


    spookwoman wrote: »
    I think a lot of people these days want to be handheld through everything and they are not as aware of their surroundings.
    I don't know if its people being naive or as they say the attention span and ability of make a sensible decision is lacking these days.

    I don't think it's naïvete or too much hand-holding, but I do think that there's a growing tendency for even relatively sociable people to live in their own bubble. This is getting away from the topic of weather warnings now, but as people have more and more stuff of their own and want to live their life the way they want, their decisions are inevitably made with a more pronounced selfish bias.

    That's not a particularly Irish thing - I see it in most of the different countries with which I have connections - and it's not just young smartphone addicts either. Ever since Hurricane Katrina, I've thought that all developed nations should require all school leavers to do a kind of "catastrophe coping" national service, and I don't mean just a two-day course, but a proper six-month period of learning how to evaluate information (or the lack of it), to self-organise into a command structure, to know basic first aid and common-sense survival skills, etc.

    In the current context, how many of those stranded motorists in Wiltshire or Scotland or the south of France stayed in their own cars, and tried to keep themselves warm, when the sensible, safe thing to do would have been to pack as many people into one car as possible. If penguins at the South Pole can keep their open-air neighbourhood heated to over 30°C, a supposedly intelligent species with a tin box on hand should be able to do better ... :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,219 ✭✭✭Gaoth Laidir


    GreeBo wrote: »

    12" of snow fell today during the afternoon...how does that work if kids are sitting in the classroom since 9am when it was fine to travel?

    Where got 12" this afternoon??!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,435 ✭✭✭Austria!


    What's the big deal anyway? Are people equally annoyed at bank holidays and weekends when schools and businesses are closed?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,700 ✭✭✭firemansam4


    GreeBo wrote: »
    Apologies.:o
    I find it very frustrating when people are using hindsight to complain about weather forecasters trying to save lives with rapidly changing data.
    What do you think is in it for them whether its Orange or Red Warning?
    Its not a bonus driven profession.

    There have already been posters who have shown charts that show red warnings were applicable everywhere, and thats without the wind shifting.

    Do you not agree that its better to warn and be wrong than not warn and be wrong?:confused:

    Thanks for the apology - fair play :)

    I understand where you are coming from and don't get me wrong, i've plenty of respect for the people making the decisions and putting out the warnings. The red warnings put out were vital for most of the country so badly effected by this.

    At the time Ophelia happened I was actually a little annoyed myself when I heard people complaining that there was a red alert in places where there were people getting killed.

    However it was just my opinion that an orange warning would have been more appropriate for here in Donegal, and this was even before the storm hit. It seemed to me looking at most models and charts that the storm would stall and only deliver a few showers here to the north west (which turned out to be the case in the end)
    But that is just my opinion and it wasn't meant as any complaint about the forecasters and people making the decisions for this snow event.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,448 ✭✭✭weisses


    GreeBo wrote: »
    Do you not agree that its better to warn and be wrong than not warn and be wrong?:confused:

    Warn yes

    Blanket red warning with no revisions .... no ...

    People tend to ignore warnings when they fail to materialize on a regular base


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,785 ✭✭✭piuswal


    spookwoman wrote: »

    There is a a certain amount of over hype, calling it beast from the east is one. It's like everything has to be hashtagged and dramatised, it's getting like American TV . Also it looks like some of the met lot are trying to out do each other and adding to the hysteria. Gerry and Evelyn were the only ones that didn't actually sound nearly hysterical when doing the forecasts on RTE.

    That name was given by UK media as far as I know - ours went along with it. But then we also get a lot of British media clones here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,852 ✭✭✭✭Discodog


    The hype & desire to copy Teresa, is really increasing - even Leo joined in. It encourages panic. God knows what will happen when there is a real emergency. Plus it had better not happen on a weekend :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,812 ✭✭✭Addle


    Rodin wrote: »
    As regards the west/northwest the government got it completely wrong.
    No need to shut down the northwest as well as the south east. Hospital patients cancelled. Shops shut. Schools shut. Transport stopped.
    All completely unnecessary in the north west.

    What a pity the government didn't have the benefit of hindsight in advance of the event.

    It seems reasonable to me to err on the side of caution when there's a possibility of lives being at stake.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,130 ✭✭✭Rodin


    It worked though, what with the snow melting.

    Hospital departments closed.
    Cities shut down.
    Transport shut down.
    Tourists stranded.
    Schools closed.

    Areas of the country got barely a sprinkling and this was obviously always going to be the case looking at the weather reports

    A nationwide red-alert was a nonsense.

    Yeah the duck and cover method worked well.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,070 ✭✭✭Franz Von Peppercorn


    Rodin wrote: »
    Hospital departments closed.
    Cities shut down.
    Transport shut down.
    Tourists stranded.
    Schools closed.

    Areas of the country got barely a sprinkling and this was obviously always going to be the case looking at the weather reports

    A nationwide red-alert was a nonsense.

    Yeah the duck and cover method worked well.

    Probably they should have excluded west Ulster but that’s it. Galway and cork and Waterford got the most snow in living memory, the central areas got snow the day after Emma arrived. In general it was warranted.


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