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Tulsa weatherman calls out OKC weathermen for scary snowpocalyptic weather forecast

As I'm sure you know by now, the OKC TV weather hypers have been hard at work over the last 24 hours irresponsibly ramping up fear – and social media shares and TV ratings – with an apocalyptic winter weather forecast that predicts anywhere from 10 - 20 inches of snow will fall across the state Sunday through Monday, leading to an early run on milk, bread, snow shovels, kitty litter and Tauntauns at retailers from Williburton to Slapout and everywhere in between.

I guess they could be right. From inland hurricanes to epic floods to prolonged droughts to maxi-wedge mega grinders dancing across the prairie, extreme weather is always a possibility in Oklahoma, but as the surprise ice rink that descended on the metro this past Monday morning reminded us, winter weather is incredibly unpredictable in these parts. It's a challenge for a meteorologist to forecast what's going to happen in a couple of hours, much less four or five days in advance.

It's something we've documented plenty of times over the years on this site, and something I brought up in a Twitter thread last night:

I'm not the only one sounding the "Hey, let's not freak out yet" alarm. Dan Threlkeld – a former KFOR weatherman who now prances in front of the greenscreen at KTUL Channel 8 in Tulsa – provided this bit of commentary during a newscast, calling out some of the Oklahoma City weathermen who "like to scare people."

Although he didn't name any names, I can say with more certainty than a bus stop forecast that Dan was referring to his old weather boss Mike Morgan. Back in 2012, he admitted they never really liked each other, and let's be honest, Mike does have a reputation for sensationalizing things.

And this may be my favorite real winter weather graphic of all time:

For what it's worth, "Forecast 1" is what materialized.

In all fairness to Mike, he's not the only one hyping unreliable, yet still possible, winter forecasts 90 hours in advance. Damon Lane hopped on Facebook to make sure Oklahomans were well aware that 20 inches of snow is a possibility, and to get their AT-ATs ready for an all-timer.

Once again, all this could come to fruition... and it could not. Why not wait a couple of days until they have a slightly higher degree of certainty about what may transpire?

Actually, I know the answer to that question. I'll blow it up for you.

As someone who's both addicted to, and dependant upon, clicks for survival, that makes me a bit jealous. 45,000 shares is a lot. The reach on that post had to go into six or seven figures, which isn't easy to do with Facebook's asshole algorithm. It's almost like scaring people with dire, unpredictable weather forecasts is a good racket to be in. Our old pal Aaron Tuttle would agree:

Uh oh. I hope I don't get an email from a copyright lawyer who specializes in copyright law for sharing that!

Anyway, it will be interesting to see if, when or how this winter weather system develops. Watching the TV folks predict winter weather in this state is kind of like watching a bunch of drunk used car dealers tossing darts at Henry Hudsons. There's a chance they'll hit the triple 20 they're aiming for...and an even higher chance they'll hit a 1 or 5 in the process. I guess it's something to ponder while you're waiting in line at the grocery store to get your milk and bread.


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