Friday, January 12, 2024

Breaking News: The 1-12-2024 Wind Advisory that was Fake News! (published 1-12-2024; article #450)

Update, 1/15/2024, Sunday: Blount County and Sevier County had some strong gusts. First source: “Blount Co. dispatchers receive over 50 calls for downed trees Friday due to high winds, and are preparing for snow in the forecast,” on WBIR-TV, by Aaron Velasquez, 1/12/2024, 10:28 PM. The article states that, on Friday, 1/12/2024, Blount County dispatchers received over 50 calls, about fallen trees and damage. Wind gusts, of about 50 miles per hour, were reported, in some areas of that county. Lance Coleman, the Blount County Emergency Management Agency director, stated, “It wasn't as bad as we thought it would be.” Second source: “Thousands without power across East TN and damage reported at Greene Co. school as high winds sweep through region,” on WBIR-TV, by Chris Salvemini, 1/12/2024, 5:51 PM. The article reports the number of homes that were without electricity, in Blount, Greene, Loudon, Monroe, and Sevier Counties, as of about 5 PM, on Friday, 1/12/2024. By adding the numbers, reported in the article, I tallied a total of 13,118 homes that were without power, at that time. (The Alcoa Electric Department provides power to Blount County. The Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative provides electricity to Blount, Loudon, and Monroe Counties.) The article also reports that a wind gust “blew an awning off a modular classroom at South Greene Middle School, in Greene County.” The Blount County Emergency Management Agency director's statement, in the first source, was about right! I would say that it wasn't as bad as the weather news had sensationalized that it would be!


This is M. Fearghail, your factual news reporter, live, in my home office studio. This news desk is delivering you breaking news. The time, at the typing of this sentence, is 3:32 PM. The date is Friday, January 12, 2024.

The breaking news, even as I write, is about the wind advisory that has become fake news. Area school systems closed today, as a result of the fake news. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman is enjoying her “fake weather news” day off work. Her county public school employer is one of several school systems that is closed.

This article will be filed, as the 110th article, under the “humor” topic section. Despite the humor, this breaking news report will conclude, with a serious question.

The Fake News

The fake news started yesterday. Several local media outlets were reporting the same weather line (or lie). “Sophisticated” computer weather models -- which can't be trusted, obviously -- were predicting that strong winds, with some rain, would impact the region today. Of the various media outlets, this article picks on WBIR-TV, in Knoxville, Tennessee. The following are two articles, which this breaking news reporter has selected.

The first article is “Several East Tennessee schools closing Friday ahead of strong winds and rain,” on WBIR-TV, by Chris Salvemini, 1/11/2024. The byline states, “Another strong, low-pressure system is expected to move through the Southeast on Friday and could bring damaging winds and strong storms to East Tennessee.” The article lists the 24 schools and school systems that closed today. The list includes 13 area county school systems.

The other article is “More wind and rain expected today in East Tennessee,” on WBIR-TV, by Cassie Nall, published 1/10/2024, updated 1/12/2024. The article states that our area is under a “wind advisory.” Wind gusts, up to 55 miles per hour, are predicted, between noon and 6 PM. Showers and storms, up to a half inch of rain, were also predicted.

As of this date, 1/12/2023, Weather Alerts, on WBIR-TV, shows the following.

Wind Advisory until SAT 7:00 AM EST Knox County, Tennessee. Start: 1/12/2024 9:59:00 AM. End: 1/13/2024 7:00:00 AM. WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM THIS MORNING TO 7 AM EST SATURDAY. WHAT: South winds 20 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph possible. WHERE: Portions of east Tennessee and southwest Virginia. WHEN: From 7 AM Friday to 7 AM EST Saturday. IMPACTS: Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS: Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects.

Well, all that is turning out to be fake news. The truth is what follows next.

The Truth

This morning, about 6:15 AM, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, enjoying her paid day off work, started making my morning coffee, once she heard that I was awake. It was still dark outside. There was no wind or rain.

As dawn started to break, about 7:20 AM, the sky was mostly clear. Red sky predicted that rain was coming. The morning low was 26 degrees Fahrenheit. At sunrise, the sky was mostly sunny. There was no wind or rain. The morning was mostly sunny, with no wind or rain.

After our morning showers, my wife decided to join me, bravely, for the weekly errands. We hauled off the trash and recycling. Afterward, we shopped for groceries. A sporadic light rain fell, at times. There was no wind. Our grocery store checkout time was 12:05 PM.

Back home, having put away the groceries, my wife decided to go visit her father and sister, who live nearby. Shortly after she left, a heavier rain fell, for a few minutes. The wind blew lightly. I saw and heard a brief gust. I couldn't determine the speed. The heavy rain changed to intermittent showers. The wind continued to blow lightly and briefly, at times.

I took the following photograph, at 3:01 PM. I was standing at the threshold, to the deck. The view looks southwest.

The cedar tree verifies that no wind was blowing. A light rain was falling. The temperature was 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

Looking out my home studio office windows, I am monitoring the wind, by watching the movements, if any, of our yard flag. At 4:22 PM, while typing this sentence, the yard flag is barely moving. A light wind is blowing gently.

After a brief writing pause, the time is now 5:24 PM, as I type now. Our yard flag is fluttering, just a little, in the wind.

These are just the facts, dear reader. This reporter does not sensationalize his news stories. There is no exaggeration. I don't use “sophisticated” computer weather models.


I hope that you have enjoyed the humor, in this breaking news report! What is the serious question? I'll ask it, after the next paragraph.

Local weather forecasters use “sophisticated” computer weather models, to predict the weather, for the next day and up to six farther days out. Sometimes, they get it right. Sometimes, they don't.

If local weather forecasters can predict the weather inaccurately, such as today's example, then why should we believe the global weather forecasters, when their long-range forecasts -- which are based on their “man-made” global climate change models -- predict planetary gloom and doom?

The time, at dusk, is now 5:28 PM, as I type this sentence. The sun will be setting soon. We still have only intermittent light wind and rain.

If we get a wind gust, of up to 55 miles per hour, as predicted, then I'll update this breaking news story. I don't predict the need to update this story!

This is M. Fearghail, your breaking news reporter, signing off. Have a good evening!

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