Social media changes the way we get weather

By Justin Logan - bio | email feedback

MEMPHIS, TN (KAIT) - Thursday afternoon the National Weather Service (NWS) in Memphis held a workshop for broadcast meteorologists to discuss a few topics, including social media and its impact on the weather.

Region 8 StormTEAM Chief Meteorologist Ryan Vaughan led the way. He began by describing how meteorologists can use things like twitter, facebook and blogging  to get information to viewers immediately.

NWS Meteorologist Bill Borghoff said immediacy is the major benefit of the new technology.

Borghoff said, "Things are very quick, things are instant almost. We can see what's going on in the storm that we just warned for or are considering warning for."

Twitter and Facebook are great tools to have during any type of weather for both viewers and meteorologists. People can instantly post photos of weather in their area. While it can be useful, there is a downside.

"False reports. False pictures that are submitted to us and quite frankly we're totally in the dark as to whether that's real or actually happening," said Borghoff.

According to Borghoff, it's very dangerous to submit false reports because it can directly impact someone's life. Not only that, it's illegal to purposefully issue a false weather report.

Borgoff said, "If you are trying to submit a report to us, try to go out to a spotter class. Become familiar with the processes of thunderstorms and how to report."

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