On March 3, the news channel 4 KMOV 4Warn Storm Team visited LEwis and Clark Community College to talk about tornado safety awareness.
The L&C Hatheway Cultural Center was open to the public as well as L&C students or employees to watch and participate in the 4Warn Storm presentation.
In attendance to this event was chief meteorologist Steve Templeton, meteorologist Meghan Danahey, meteorologist Matt Chambers, and pre-recorded video clips and cardboard cutouts of meteorologists Kent Ehrhardt and Kristen Cornett.
With spring storms on the way, the 4Warn Storm Team timed its tour to gather the public together and talk about safety and preparedness. L&C was their third stop on their four-city tour.
“The presentation consists of a little bit of everything: some science, how weather works, storm safety, some weather history, but it’s definitely upbeat and fun,” said KMOV Meteorologist Matt Chambers.
The KMOV meteorologists entertained and educated a full house ranging from infancy to a 95-year-old veteran of World War II.
“We wanted to take time to reach areas outside of Metro St. Louis and let them know that they matter to us,” Chambers said.
Chambers continued, “It’s so rewarding getting to meet the people we serve.”
The presentation started at 6:30 p.m. with five brief PowerPoint bios for each meteorologist, focusing on their childhoods, education, family life and personal interests.
Following the final slide, the weather team dove into the science of how tornadoes are tracked using Doppler radar.
“About three out of four warnings turn out to be false alarms,” Templeton said.
Templeton continued, “You should always be prepared for that one-in-four chance, though.”
Templeton compared practicing storm safety to wearing a seat belt.
“You don’t avoid wearing a seat belt until the day you get in your car and decide, ‘today’s the day.’ You always wear your seatbelt because any day could be the day,” Templeton said.
Templeton warned against the danger of “warning fatigue.” According to the weather team, weather fatigue assumed partial responsibility for the number of fatalities in the 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo.
In the midst of such heavy subject matter, the team reminded the audience to “don’t be scared, be prepared!” with helpful tips for tracking and responding to tornadoes.
The presentation also took time to highlight the “small village” that works behind the scenes in Studio B to bring the daily weather forecast to KMOV and the off-screen equipment at work during each severe weather warning.
The presentation wrapped up with a video segment of “Meteorology 101” with Matt Chambers including a comparison of the earth to a rotisserie chicken, in how its heat is distributed differently from area to area, and a series of trivia games, including “Do You Spy a Tornado,” “My Grandma Always Told Me,” and “Back in My Day.”
Those brave enough to attempt an answer were rewarded with prize bags including weather radios and Storm Mode umbrellas.
Templeton, Danahey and Chambers sat at a booth outside the auditorium for meet-and-greets, autograph dedications, and photo opportunities during the hour preceding the presentation, and Templeton broadcasted live from the center of the crowd on KMOV shortly after 6 p.m.
The 4Warn Storm Team concluded its tour March 10 at Troy Middle School in Troy, Mo. The tour began Feb. 18 at the Farmington Civic Center in Farmington, Mo., and continued Feb. 25 at Wesclin Middle School in New Baden, IL.
For more information on the 4Warn Storm Team Presentation, visit advantagenews.com.