Tornado Warning

The National Weather Service reports that there is a tornado warning for Charlottesville and Albemarle. This means that a tornado has been sighted in the area or seen on radar. Has anybody seen anything? What’s the weather situation around the area? For reference, our last tornado was in June of 2002, running through the Free Union area. 3:04pm Update: As of 3:02pm now been downgraded to a severe thunderstorm, with warnings of 60mph wind gusts and 1.5″ hail. A tornado watch is still in effect, and will be until 8pm.

20 thoughts on “Tornado Warning”

  1. VAC003-540-091900-

    SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT

    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC

    222 PM EDT FRI MAY 9 2003

    …TORNADO WARNING CONTINUES FOR CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE AND ALBEMARLE COUNTIES UNTIL 300 PM EDT…

    AT 222 PM EDT…DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A DEVELOPING TORNADO 5 MILES SOUTHWEST OF CROZET…MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 45 MPH.

    CHARLOTTESVILLE AND CROZET ARE NEAR THE PATH OF THIS DANGEROUS STORM.

    IN ADDITION TO THE TORNADO THREAT…LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS CAN BE EXPECTED WITH THIS STORM. GO TO A SAFE PLACE NOW!

    MOTORISTS IN THE PATH OF THIS STORM SHOULD ABANDON VEHICLES FOR MORE SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER! DO NOT TAKE SHELTER UNDER HIGHWAY OVERPASSES! TAKE COVER IN A NEARBY STURDY BUILDING. AS A LAST RESORT…TAKE COVER

    IN A DITCH OR CULVERT. PROTECT YOUR HEAD AND BODY FROM FLYING DEBRIS!

    $$

    MANNING/ROGOWSKI

  2. Just rumbling and rain downtown. Lots and lots of rain, although that’s slowed now. We heard a rumbling freight-trainy sound, but that was (surprise) a freight train. :) Power has been dipping, but no blackouts so far.

  3. I really enjoyed turning on the TV and seeing a soap opera while a severe storm was 5-10 minutes away. Your coverage sucks and you people shouldn’t be allowed to operate a TV station. Enough said.

  4. YOU CAN SAY THAT AGAIN! NBC 29 news is sad for many, many reasons. Their web site is equally sad, new facelift or not.

  5. nbc29.com front page tells you whats on TV tonight, but has no mention of the weather. It does however have that important info once you finally click the weather tab, and scroll down. But apparently tonights TV line up is more important.

  6. Even the weather channel was reporting to a NATIONAL audience that residents of charlottesville/albemarle should get to the lowest level in their houses, avoid exterior walls and windows, wrap blankets around their heads, etc etc.

  7. I wish their website had been doing as good a job. At 2:45 it was telling me that it’s cloudy outside, and that only Augusta, Staunton and Waynesboro were under a tornado warning/watch.

  8. Isn’t this what the Emergency Broadcast System is for? Why didn’t the test pattern and the hummy noise come on, telling us to get into our basements? If EBS isn’t to be used in the case of a known tornado touching down near a large city, what is it for?

  9. It’s used to interrupt programing that you actually want to watch at times when there isn’t even the slightest threat of severe, or even threatening, weather.

    Seriously though, has anyone EVER seen/heard the EBS in use? I’ve been through a a couple tornado warnings like today and more than a couple of hurricanes that actually passed over the city I was in and I’ve never once seen/heard the EBS in use.

    As to the NBC 29 coverage, or lack thereof, I’m thankful that we at least get news out of DC and Richmond and that they seem to actually care about us more than the local guys.

  10. EBS was overhauled ages ago. What they have now is the emergency alert system, which is supposedly automatic, at least for radio stations. I’m not sure how they do it on TV, but when the weather service issued the warning, all radio programming (and I would expect TV too) would be automatically interrupted for weather info. If nothing appeared on 29 at all, then they’re really screwed up.

  11. Actually, having recently completed on-air volunteer training at WTJU, I can report that the Emergency Broadcast System is kaput. It’s been replaced by the Emergency Alert System, which is fully automated.

    In this area, at least for radio, the word comes in to Z-95 and 3WV, who relay it to the other stations. If it’s an actual emergency (as this was), that obnoxious buzzing noise takes over the signal automatically, and the warning is given, overriding whatever programming is on the air. It’s license-losing illegal for the broadcaster to interrupt an incoming EAS message.

    The Accuweather bulletin I received in my Inbox clearly stated at the top "BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED." I’m sure the system kicked into gear right away.

    I don’t know how this relates to television broadcasts, but I can’t imagine that TV broadcasters are exempt from compliance. A quick look at the FCC site tells me that 29 should have broadcast a warning. I can’t imagine they didn’t. Also, it looks like Adelphia should have done so as well.

  12. I was at Lowe’s around 4:00 PM today. According to store employees, there was no tornado around Lowe’s. There was no damage apparent from the Lowe’s parking lot or on Woodbrook (?) Drive (behind Lowe’s/Wal-Mart) other than a few downed branches.

    I heard from other witnesses that a funnel cloud had been spotted in the area, but apparently, no touchdown.

  13. I think they held back coverage because they could not find anyone around the station who could spell "tornado" and "Albemarle" for the crawl.

  14. Last tornado–you remember, the one last year Waldo’s Mom reported instead of TV 29–while a potentially deadly storm bore down upon us, they showed Pat Sajak and Vanna White.

    This time they were loathe to interrupt a soap opera.

    I’m curious about what TV 29 would show if terrorists were about to blow up U. Va.’s mothballed nuclear reactor, and spread a cloud of uranium fuel dust all over us. What would we see on TV? Leave it to Beaver?

    WVIR is our only station. That gives them a heavy responsiblity to serve the public interest and deliver information that can protect public saftey.

    This is a serious enough *repeated* lapse that it may call for challenging their FCC license. These valuable broadcast licenses come up for renewal every so often. The FCC will take very seriously letters from us citizens explaining why TV 29 is letting us down, and putting us all at risk.

  15. In my humble opinion: the first step would be to confirm whether or not WVIR broadcast the alerts. Perhaps none of us are staying tuned to the channel long enough to catch the broadcast (that is, we hear about the storms from other sources, then tune in to 29, expecting to see Robert Tinkle-Tinkle . . . and when heís not there switch back to another station which is covering the story live, only to miss 29ís report/crawl when it might appear later).

    I donít know if they broadcast the alert or not. Are you? And are you certain (and why so . . . ) that the FCC would investigate?

    Of course I think WVIR sucks, and sucks big-time. I think theyíve worsened in my 30-year acquaintance with their broadcast. I would like to help in any effort to improve local TV coverage. Is there any hope of competition (for TV ad revenue which is perhaps the prime motivator)?

    (P.S. A new cvillenews.com poster belatedly added good gossip to a previous discussion about 29ís shortcomings
    here [Mass Exodus from NBC 29?]).

  16. dragonfly writes: This is a serious enough *repeated* lapse that it may call for challenging their FCC license. These valuable broadcast licenses come up for renewal every so often. The FCC will take very seriously letters from us citizens explaining why TV 29 is letting us down, and putting us all at risk.

    Here is the place for you (or others) to make complaints: Technical and Public Safety Division.

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