What good will that do?

I wanted to share two tales of RadarScope. Both are very important.

Some weeks ago someone, admittedly afraid of storms, asked me how to stay informed and safe in her home. We spent a few minutes downloading and training on RadarScope and she took a deep breath and said, “Okay, we’ll see.”

Two weeks later a mesocyclone producing thunderstorm went right over the woman’s neighborhood. When I saw her a few days later she thanked me and told me, with confidence, that she actually watched the storm go over her house. Knowledge is power.

Since it is springtime in Texas, more storms have come and a different woman came to me recounting how hard it had been driving in a downpour that reduced speed and visibility on the highway. I said, “Let me give you some RadarScope training.” Her response, “What good will that do?” Her mindset was that she was going to get from point A to point B no matter what. A week earlier another story came into our office about a traveler who had windshield damage from hail. Again, we mentioned radar training and somone commented, “What good does that do while you are driving?”


Now, we all know what the “good” is, prevention. Don’t drive through it. Pull over. “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” to quote some government agency we all know and love. But we need to think about this for a minute. The “What good will that do?” people are intelligent folks. They probably went to college. They get up every morning and manage to find their socks, and their way to work. So how could they not see what we see?

I’ve really been struggling with this.

Knowledge is power and previous to this time in history the knowledge of exactly where users are (indicated by the blue target circle on RadarScope) and where that hail core is, and where it is moving in relationship to them, has not been available. They have no history with this information.

Partly cloudy, 72 is available everywhere. Maybe this is one of the few spots we can still add value.


About Kevin Selle

Chief Meteorologist, KFDX-TV. Co-host, WeatherBrains.
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7 Responses to What good will that do?

  1. Praemonitus-Praemunitus: Good points above.
    “What good will it do?” If all we are looking for is “Sunny 78” then we need to expand our data collection to build better situational awareness. What impacts my life – and how can I avoid the bad stuff? My regimen is fairly involved. For weather, I’m looking across the entire country and the oceans…for today, tomorrow and the week ahead. I do similarly with news and traffic. There is a little more but I don’t want to give away everything.
    Thanks for a great topic!

  2. Beau Dodson says:

    Best way to handle that is explain to them what good it could do.

  3. I agree Kevin that situational awareness could be a growth path for us along with some good weather apps that offer more than Sunny and 75°, twenty days from now. However, I also find the use of a portable or mobile device app butting up against campaigns about how the devices have to be hands free or how many drivers are distracted by such devices even if they ARE hands free.
    Heck in Vermont, you can’t even have your cell phone on the seat next to you. If you get pulled over you get a ticket automatically.

  4. Pingback: I Thought… | Digital Meteorologist

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