Friday, June 7, 2013

Report: OK TV Weatherman Vilified For Tornado Advice

An award-winning Oklahoma television meteorologist has been criticized as "irresponsible" for telling viewers on Friday to get in their cars and flee approaching tornadoes, and some are blaming him for putting people in grave danger on clogged roads, according to a Reuters story.

Mike Morgan, chief meteorologist for Oklahoma City television station KFOR, told viewers during a tornado warning to get in their cars and drive away from a threatened storm.

Some people said they followed his advice and ended up stuck in traffic jams on major central Oklahoma highways as a massive storm bore down on the Oklahoma City area.

Ernst Kiesling, research professor at Texas Tech's National Wind Institute, said it was wrong to advise people to get in their cars and try to outrun a tornado.

"Irresponsible reporting of that kind is unconscionable in my mind. You have the responsibility to give more than your off-the-cuff opinions."

Morgan has not appeared on the network since Friday, and the station said he is on vacation and would be back on Thursday. He could not be reached for comment.

But a statement from KFOR on Wednesday said: "After every major storm, we review our coverage and the many things that make each weather event unique, for the purpose of improving our coverage and our ability to forecast."

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