By DAVE DOWNEY
It seems like in these natural disaster events, particularly hurricanes, the national news outlets do the worst job in their coverage efforts.
Sites like CNN and Fox News, although well respected in their political and general news stories, fail in most efforts to convey a well-written or scientifically accurate weather story.
CNN’s latest article incorrectly gave a rain rate total that may only be the case in one section of the hurricane, which could also change from one moment to the next. Instead of recognizing the total amount of rainfall possible at the beginning of the story, the biggest killer in tropical cyclone landfall events, they do it later, in the latter half of the story.
Fox News’s latest article has similar issues, although this article has a little more scientific accuracy than CNN’s did.
They did a good job reporting storm surge numbers reported by the National Hurricane Center in their hourly updates. They also included a tweet from the NHC in their story, giving readers a primary source as to where they can get more information.
The two main issues in this article are with the title and a similar problem in CNN’s story.
First, the title focuses on the downgrade of Florence from a Category 2 to a Category 1 Hurricane. The NHC stressed particularly with this storm that it is irrelevant where Florence landed on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, as it will have impacts far beyond just its maximum sustained winds.
Second, it mentions the total amount of rain possible even later than where CNN put it, which should by far be the most significant part of the story.