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The latest weather scare, Astros, bird eating kids and more: The update for Feb. 14

I rarely watch local news anymore. It is no reflection on the people who do it. I am like a lot of people, however, who get most of their news from their phones and online.

I started watching a little more often after spending some time with the Ch. 13 crew at radio row. (Really good people, by the way).

This morning I decided to watch coverage of the latest stormageddon on Ch. 2.

Thunderstorm Tom is a scary beast, apparently. The weather hottie warned us several times that there were two tornado warnings. She mentioned countless times there was no confirmation of a tornado on the ground, but conditions existed for one. (She almost seemed excited when there was finally a “confirmed sighting.” She constantly repeated the same stuff over and over.

Some of the key words: “Seek shelter.” “Dangerous weather.” “Enhanced risk.”

This is not to make light of the damage “severe storms” can do. But we also have to keep in mind that there are a lot of scare tactics involved. Bad weather equals ratings and web hits. So the smart thing to do is carpet bombing coverage.

My favorite is the on site reporter who points out puddles and dark clouds. Her camera shots included “ponding.” My goodness.

And you can’t help but love the guy who does a report from his car while driving in the rain who tells you to stay off the road. Er…OK.

This is Houston. We get bad storms all the time. But for some reason we have to cover every single one like it’s a hurricane. There will be wind. There will be lightning. There will be some damage. If you don’t need to be on the road, don’t do it. Otherwise, it’s just a storm.

Should we be smart when a bad storm comes through? Absolutely. Should we be scared to death? Absolutely not. By the time you read this, the storm probably has already gone through and it is all over.

In a way, weather coverage is like going to the doctor. “It could be a cold. It could be cancer.” They focus on the worst-case scenarios, and we sit riveted in front of the TV.

In reality, we all just need to be smart. We don’t need to be scared. But that’s today’s media. Hopefully you survive Thunderstorm Tom and we all can get on with our day.

Astros updates: One of my favorite sites for Astros news is If you want to keep up with what is going on, they do a terrific job. So, too, does Brian McTaggart. (Follow him on Twitter @brianmctaggart). He is the absolute best at Astros coverage. We also have our own preview here. 

Happy Valentine’s Day: If you screwed up and forgot to get anything, swing by our friends at Darling Way, 3428 White Oak in the Heights and our friend Beth will hook you up. They will be open until 9 tonight. And check them out at

And finally...Mommas, don’t your babies grow up to eat birds. Yeah, that pretty much says it all.


“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

— Charles Dudley Warner



So we googled “hot weather women” and got this famous hottie. So if you are afeared of of Thunderstorm Tom, be comforted by her.





3 Comments on The latest weather scare, Astros, bird eating kids and more: The update for Feb. 14

  1. Stephen Uzick // February 14, 2017 at 8:40 pm // Reply

    As a self-admitted weather geek the hyped weather coverage the local news does often annoys the crap out of me. I feel that often they only present some of the information or present too much without an adequate explanation. For example when they say on the news there is an “enhanced risk” of severe weather they do not always explain the true definition of the term as given by the National Weather Service. Instead they leave “enhanced” as a vague term to be deciphered by each individual viewer.
    Leading up to this morning I feel like the news actually underplayed this storm, maybe for fear of being blasted later for hyping it up if it didn’t pan out. The truth is though that since late last week it was apparent that the ingredients were coming together for storms with the potential for fairly significant tornadoes today, which is rare in this area. Usually the tornadoes we get around here just blow around some lawn furniture and break a few tree limbs (EF0 ratings (~65-80 mph). Leading up to this morning conditions were favorable for stronger tornadoes (possibly in the the EF2 range (~110-135mph), and it looks like that forecast verified based on some of pictures of damage from around the area. However, I did not see that more significant risk explained on any of the newscasts before the storms got here this morning. It was only after the storms arrived did they go into freak-out mode. Yes, too often the news hypes up these storms, which is a problem as it numbs people to potential of true danger when it does arise, but I think today was the opposite situation – they underplayed it and got caught with their pants down when it exceeded the expectations they set for their viewers. I just wish they would more fully explain situations to give people a more complete picture of what could happen. Sorry for the rant but felt like you could appreciate that point of view.


  2. That could have been its own article. Very educational and well thought out. Thank you for sharing.


  3. Stephen Uzick // February 14, 2017 at 10:25 pm // Reply

    Absolutely, glad you enjoyed my mini-rant. Always happy to indulge my inner-nerd, and share with anyone who cares to listen to weather babble.


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