3 June 2009
How to Make your Local Meteorologist Very Happy (updated)
Posted by Dan Satterfield
The title of this may confuse you, and believe it or not, to accomplish it, you have to do nothing at all!
However, you would make your local weather geek even happier if you would type the words hoax into your email app. and hit send!
Let me explain.
I get hundreds of emails a week/sometimes each day. I try to answer as many as I can, but I and hundreds of my fellow Meteorologists (especially those like me who work on air) are getting the same pictures sent to us over and over. If you see any of these pictures or hoaxes in your email, do us all a favour and hit REPLY ALL. Then type the words HOAX. That’s what I do.
So here is what truth I know behind these images and hoaxes.
These hoaxes get more active depending on weather and the time of year. If a hurricane develops in the Atlantic, I will start getting the picture taken from ship. If a tornado wreaks havoc on some poor town, I will get the picture of the tornado. Especially if the twister hit Oklahoma or Texas, because as everyone know, that’s where the oil is!
The Mars hoax peaks in August every year, because it got started in 2003, when Mars made a rare close approach to Earth. In 2003 it was a little over 55 million kilometers away. Very close by Astronomical standards, but Mars get nearly this close every 18 months or so.
I purposefully made the tornado photo small because Fred Smith has a right to be paid for his image.
Update: I received another hoax email today, but this one is not weather related. It’s an email that contains images of the attack on Pearl Harbour 7 Dec. 1941. It claims the images were just discovered and devleoped from a “Brownie” camera.
This pic is from Pearl Harbour, but it’s been in the Naval Archives for 65 + years. So have all of the other pictures in this email. More here.
I was sent a variation of the tornado pic about two years ago, the week following an early morning tornado near Scottsboro. No oil rig in the left foreground though… just a tree silhouette. That Saturday, I was in a Barnes & Noble, and saw that same “tornado + lightning” on the cover of a children’s book about weather. If that’s not proof-positive of “hoax”, I don’t know what is…
Thanks for highlighting these. I’ve replied “hoax” to many email forwards before, sometimes even listing URLs that explain them as hoaxes. I’ve noticed I don’t get that many from people anymore 😉
Great read ! Another good entry, i love returning on your site and check on some fresh messages.
I know who made the oil rig storm picture. He worked as a safety man for an oil company in Texas, and yes that was his rig, either in Freestone or Limestone county…I forget. He used the picture in some safety presentations and passed it around to some cooworkers and friends, and it ended up going viral. My part in all this was I gave him the copy of MS Photodraw which he used to do it. It was just a joke that was never meant to be taken seriously, but it went around the world and back with all kinds of tall tales attached, and people claiming to have been there.