Difference between revisions of "2179: NWS Warnings"

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Regardless, in this comic the NWS has decided to take a break, and so has opted to issue every extreme weather alert possible for the entire contiguous portion of the United States (including DC, but not Alaska or Hawaii) to make sure no one is caught by surprise by extreme weather, since the NWS will not be able to issue warnings. As the NWS could not be sure which areas will need to get warned of severe incidents, the NWS has decided to issue warning polygons that cover the entire United States (ostensibly except Alaska and Hawaii). A layer of humor is that this would necessitate warnings where they would be highly unlikely to occur in real life; examples include issuing blizzard warnings for Florida, where any amount of snow is rare, and tsunami warnings for areas very far from any ocean coastline.
 
Regardless, in this comic the NWS has decided to take a break, and so has opted to issue every extreme weather alert possible for the entire contiguous portion of the United States (including DC, but not Alaska or Hawaii) to make sure no one is caught by surprise by extreme weather, since the NWS will not be able to issue warnings. As the NWS could not be sure which areas will need to get warned of severe incidents, the NWS has decided to issue warning polygons that cover the entire United States (ostensibly except Alaska and Hawaii). A layer of humor is that this would necessitate warnings where they would be highly unlikely to occur in real life; examples include issuing blizzard warnings for Florida, where any amount of snow is rare, and tsunami warnings for areas very far from any ocean coastline.
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Each of the text warnings within the map are coloured, which matches the [https://www.weather.gov/bro/mapcolors NWS color coding] used for a given warning event.
  
 
The title text mentions how some of the warnings that have been issued require action to get to safety that contradicts the other warnings, for example, an evacuation warning and a shelter in place order, since doing one would mean failing to do the other. This confusing scenario would likely prompt many concerned citizens to call emergency services for clarification, but the 911 outage alert would advise against this, adding another layer to the absurdity of the occurrence of the NWS taking a break.
 
The title text mentions how some of the warnings that have been issued require action to get to safety that contradicts the other warnings, for example, an evacuation warning and a shelter in place order, since doing one would mean failing to do the other. This confusing scenario would likely prompt many concerned citizens to call emergency services for clarification, but the 911 outage alert would advise against this, adding another layer to the absurdity of the occurrence of the NWS taking a break.

Revision as of 13:45, 24 July 2019

NWS Warnings
Kind of rude of them to simultaneously issue an EVACUATION - IMMEDIATE alert, a SHELTER IN PLACE alert, and a 911 TELEPHONE OUTAGE alert.
Title text: Kind of rude of them to simultaneously issue an EVACUATION - IMMEDIATE alert, a SHELTER IN PLACE alert, and a 911 TELEPHONE OUTAGE alert.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a NWS EMPLOYEE THAT REALLY NEEDED A BREAK. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

The National Weather Service (NWS) is a United States federal agency that is tasked with issuing national weather forecasts and extreme weather alerts.

This comic portrays the NWS as a person that needs breaks, which is absurd, as it is an important service and would probably always have staff active, even on holidays. For example, the NWS continued to work during federal government shutdowns, as it was considered an essential service for the protection of life and property. Even if one of the NWS's 122 local weather offices were to be incapacitated, contingency plans are in place to ensure that nearby offices act as emergency cover; as happened in March 2019 with flooding in Nebraska forcing the NWS office in Valley to evacuate.

Regardless, in this comic the NWS has decided to take a break, and so has opted to issue every extreme weather alert possible for the entire contiguous portion of the United States (including DC, but not Alaska or Hawaii) to make sure no one is caught by surprise by extreme weather, since the NWS will not be able to issue warnings. As the NWS could not be sure which areas will need to get warned of severe incidents, the NWS has decided to issue warning polygons that cover the entire United States (ostensibly except Alaska and Hawaii). A layer of humor is that this would necessitate warnings where they would be highly unlikely to occur in real life; examples include issuing blizzard warnings for Florida, where any amount of snow is rare, and tsunami warnings for areas very far from any ocean coastline.

Each of the text warnings within the map are coloured, which matches the NWS color coding used for a given warning event.

The title text mentions how some of the warnings that have been issued require action to get to safety that contradicts the other warnings, for example, an evacuation warning and a shelter in place order, since doing one would mean failing to do the other. This confusing scenario would likely prompt many concerned citizens to call emergency services for clarification, but the 911 outage alert would advise against this, adding another layer to the absurdity of the occurrence of the NWS taking a break.

This comic was likely inspired by the heat wave that impacted two-thirds of the US for more than a week.

Here is the table of the reasons in the background:

Disaster Explanation
Tornado warning A Tornado warning is issued for an area if a tornado is radar indicated, radar confirmed, or members of the public confirm the existence of a funnel cloud or a tornado. As tornadoes are more apt to form in different parts of the country at different times a country-wide tornado warning would be highly unlikely.
Cold warning The NWS does not issue cold warnings. As the text is cut off, Randall probably means Extreme Cold Warning, which the NWS offices in Alaska issue. This implies that the entire U.S. will get colder. This does not make sense, partly because in the time this comic was released, it was summer in the U.S., but also because Alaska, the one state that does receive this type of warning, is not shown.
Red flag warning A red flag warning means that conditions are favorable for the rapid spread of wildfires. While there are very few areas immune to wildfires, one that encompasses the entire country would be unlikely unless a conflagration of epic magnitude swept through the country.
Radiological hazard warning A radiological hazard warning is a non-weather event that is transmitted by the NWS. This means that a radiological source was lost, discovered, or released accidentally or maliciously. If the entire country were under such a warning, the outlook for the citizens would be pretty grim.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.

[Title in frame]

Alert: Everyone Just Keep An Eye Out In General

[A map of the 48 contiguous states of the United States, surrounded by several warning polygons that cover most or all of the area, along with parts of neighboring countries or the sea.]

[The following warning headers are printed in different colors around the map of the United States, some of which are cut off by the frame. Assumptions about text outside of the frame are given in parentheses]

Gale Warning, Tornado Warning, Flash Flood Warning, Air Quality (Alert)
Frost Advisory, Severe Thunderstorm Warning, Dense Fog Advisory
(Hurricane Force W)ind Watch, Tropical Storm Warning, Ice Stor(m Warning)
(Extreme Cold) Warning, Heat A(dvisory)
(Flood) Advisory, Snow (Squall Warning)
(Storm Surge) Warning, Brisk W(ind Advisory)
(Lake Effect Snow) Watch, Coastal Fl(ood Advisory)
Dense Smo(ke Advisory)
(Severe Weather Sta)tement, Gale War(ning)
(Lakeshore Flood) Advisory, Wind Chill Ad(visory)
(Extreme) Cold Warning, Blizzard Warn(ing)
Hurricane Warning, Extreme Fire (Danger)
(Freezing Fog Adv)isory, Tsunami Warning, Avalanche W(arning)
(Ice S)torm Warning, Frost Advisory, Fire Warning, Volcano Warn(ing)
Ashfall Advisory, Red Flag Warning, Radiological Hazard Warning

[Text below frame]

When the National Weather Service needs to take a day off, they just issue warnings for everything so no one is caught by surprise.

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Discussion

Transcript

I tried to start one, but it's going to be hard to do the list of warnings right.--108.162.215.190 00:33, 23 July 2019 (UTC)


Well I've gone ahead and added all the warnings that I could. The only way to know the ones that are just "Advisory", "Watch", or "Warning" on the left hand side is if we talk to Randall himself. --172.68.46.113 00:50, 23 July 2019 (UTC)


All NWS statements are color coded and the few that I know off the top of my head (Severe T-Storm, Hurricane) seem to match with Randall's coloring. Idk who filled out the transcript of warnings and if they already did this, but if everything thing else we know marches, we could use that to determine the remaining one.

Also on a separate note, Gale Warning is listed twice. Once in the top left in full and again along the right side where it's cut off as "Gale War". 162.158.126.76 01:57, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Went through the NWS List of Warnings and updated all the cut off warnings as accurately as I could, I'm not sure about the Severe Weather Statement, the color is rather close to Rip Current Statement too. Multiverse (talk) 03:05, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

OT: When I first read the Blizzard Warning in the south-east, I thought it was a Buzzard Warning; I think that is not on the NWS list of warnings, alerts and advisories. It seems like pretty much everything is there except an Amber Alert, but that is handled by other agencies. Nutster (talk) 03:26, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Maybe we should add colors of the warnings to the transcript, but there seems to be so many colors and shades and my command of English color adjectives is not adequate. -- Malgond (talk) 07:38, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

All those parantheses in the transcript have to go. Making (even well guessed) assumptions about what is meant is not what a transcript is for. Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 14:54, 24 July 2019 (UTC)

Gale War

Ok, so it's possibly Gale Warning; but a war between the North Wind and Dorothy in Oz would be something worth warning about surely? Kev (talk) 01:11, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

I hadn't noticed the Gale War, but I came here to see if anyone mentioned the Buzzard Warn(ing) — but it turns out it's BLIzzard rather than BUzzard. Oh well. Would've been fun. (Is "buzzard" a euphemism for "winged monkey"? Or maybe the other way around?) 172.68.46.113 17:20, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Weather for the past week

~~There was a flash flood watch near maryland, would that relate?~~

A massive heat wave affected a large portion of the USA this past weekend. I'm willing to bet that was the inspiration for this comic. https://twitter.com/NWS/status/1152708819291688960

108.162.241.124 11:57, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Bet how much?

What's the pun?

I don't think the real (or the only) pun is in NWS having to go on vacation sometimes. I feel (but I am not a U.S. resident) that the comic refers to NWS or any other agency issuing too many or too broad warnings, making them somewhat useless and annoying. That's my impression regarding my own country's alerting system at least. The comic, in usual Randall's style, just takes it to the extreme, vacation being only an excuse. Any comments from U.S. residents regarding real-life alerts? -- Malgond (talk) 07:49, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

I think the cartoon is illustrating that too many warnings is a bad thing. You have similar problems with computers and airlines (where once the pilots removed wiring to stop the constant unnecessary warnings). Warnings tend to be additive through mission creep and contradictory, meaning too much noise and not enough signal getting through to the end user who lacks the cognitive load to make appropriate actions. Kev (talk) 09:37, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
I agree, the cartoon probably is playing off of the extreme number of weather warnings issued these days. I think I've gotten "extreme heat" warnings for the past week straight, and I can't remember the last time I went a week without some kind of extreme weather warning, like a thunderstorm, fog, heat, cold, ... you know, normal things.162.158.126.34 11:23, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

What a good day to live in East North Carolina. And pleasant weather for anyone who happens to be searching for the Red October!

Did anyone else notice that one of the polygons clips the bottom corner of Texas (and therefore doesn't cover the entire US)?172.69.160.148 14:26, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

This reminds me of California’s ubiquitous proposition 65 warnings, which demonstrate nicely how even good intentioned warnings completely lose their power when used too often. PotatoGod (talk) 00:34, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

Table

Started table, I'll gradually fill it in this weekend. If someone thinks of a way to rearrange it so it looks better, please do so. Also, what color is "Storm Surge Warning"? Searched for it on Google, didn't find anything. Herobrine (talk) 12:06, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

Ashfall Warning is either real (e.g. from the Hawaii volcano eruptions last year) or from the Mystborn series of books. 108.162.241.214 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
It's real, see this page listing all the warnings and colors. The link given in the explanation was created by NWS in Texas, so some of them are missing. I'll add the link to the explanation as well. Herobrine (talk) 12:38, 26 July 2019 (UTC)