“Severe Weather Alert” being made less useful?

Earlier, on Saturday, I checked the weather using “Yahoo!” as I do any morning and I saw that there was a “Severe Weather Alert”.  This is typically a hyperlink, in an attention-getting red font to let me know that a dire weather situation is either in process or approaching. So I clicked on it to read… this…

Severe Weather Alert Marietta

Ignore for now the fact that nobody understands what an “Orange” anything is, what the hell is this doing as a *Severe Weather Alert*? Tell me about flooding, tornadoes, high winds… tell me about *weather*.

I don’t really see why “grandma may be sensitive to the smog” needs to be here. We already have resources that cater to special needs folks and their sensitivities. I know because I check those too. I have allergies and I check the allergy page to see what’s up pollen-wise.

I also disagree with the Severe Weather Alert page being used to indicate that conditions are ripe for a fire to start somewhere in the woods if you’re careless with your matches. I can *kind* of see how it is related to the weather but it’s not really “severe weather” in and of itself is it? Now, once the fire has started, I can see the smoke being blown around becoming part of some kind of weather advisory as it has become part of the local weather system. I’d want to know about fog or smoke impacting my local area. *That* can affect my drive or my plans to go golfing.

We need to stop watering down our systems because they’re handy. Pretty soon we’ll start having those “not even remotely proven to be effective” “Amber Alerts” for child abductions being included in the severe weather alert simply because it is accessed by a localized demographic rather than because it meets the criteria of being actually “weather”.

A lot of systems are created with good intentions and are often quite effective. I *like* the Severe Weather Alert system. It’s when they get hijacked for other purposes because folks are too lazy to put the effort into establishing a new system that they begin to lose their effect.

If I see “Severe Weather Alerts” often and keep finding them to be something not even remotely relevant to that purpose, of course I’m going to start ignoring them and probably get caught with my pants down the next time a severe thunderstorm or a tornado advisory is being published.

Oh and, in spite of my allergies, I completed a 31 mile bicycle ride in this “orange air” and don’t seem to be the worse for it.

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