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Did Joe Crain order the Code Red?!?!  Wait, what's a Code Red?
Jeremy Kappell
/ Categories: Weather, Uncategorized

Did Joe Crain order the Code Red?!?! Wait, what's a Code Red?

A Springfield, IL meteorologist may have lost his job because he tried to shoot the public straight when it came to the issuance of a "Code Red Day".  Joe Crain, a 15 year veteran and the current Morning Meteorologist for WICS-TV, the ABC affiliate in Springfield, clearly had some reservations about the idea.  In case you missed the clip, here it is...  

Personally, I really feel for this guy who was clearly not comfortable with the issuance of the "code red" here.  

Sorry, I couldn't resist the Few Good Men meme.  But actually, Tom brings up a GREAT question.  Did Joe Crain actually order the CODE RED???  

The answer to this is almost certainly NO.  You see over the last few years more and more stations have been adopting an "Alert System" if you will.  Some stations going with a two tier system encompasing either a "regular weather day" or a "CODE RED WEATHER DAY".  Others, like the one I very recently worked for, adopted a three tier system incompassing a "regular weather day" a "YELLOW ALERT DAY" or even a dreaded "RED ALERT DAY"!  

There's a problem brewing here  you see.  In some cases, these ALERTS are not being issued by the meteorologist.  Rather these are being forced upon the meteorologists who may or may not agree with them.  So in the case of Joe Crain, he is getting punished for trying NOT TO PANIC the public for a weather situation that was far from dire.  Which to me, that is a very important part of a broadcast meteorologist's job.  Informing and educating, not trying to scare the crap out of the viewers in an attempt for instant ratings.   

While there is certainly a temptation for a News Station to do this with weather, since it is such a big draw, I've always thought this was a VERY BAD idea for multiple reasons.  While you may win a few ratings points now, over time, it will ruin the credibility of the meteorologist and eventually the weather department who is forced to run rampant with these "Alerts" or "Code Reds".  This is hype and sensationalism at its core and it will lead to distrust, much like many of us may feel about mainstream news nowadays... #FakeNews... but even worse it could lead to "the boy that cried wolf syndrome" and possibly even cost lives.

But's that just it you see, Joe Crain DID NOT order the Code Red.  So why should he be repremanded when he didn't want to go along with the hyperbole and all he was trying to do was protect his credibility while relaying the actual threat level to the public?

The guy was hired to communicate his thoughts on meteorology to the public.  Now they let him go because his thoughts on meteorology don't line up with the current marketing plan.  This is bad for the viewer, bad for the meteorologist and eventually bad for the TV station.  

At least that's the way I see it.  Let me know your thoughts.

By all regards, Joe is a really good guy and a very solid forecaster.  I think it would be a huge loss for the Springfield community.

For the recod, Joe is recieving a HUGE amount of support with over 16,000 signatures on a petition for WCIS to put him back on the airwaves.  You can help and sign that petition here...


Updating our rain potential for Thursday and if wet weather will be a problem this weekend in tonight's WxLIVEat945. See you then!


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