OPINION: We’re just mad about cyclones
WHETHER it's a category one or five, there's no denying any whiff of an impending cyclone gets us all excited.
While destructive winds are never welcome, it's times like now the imminent rain is direly needed throughout the Mackay region.
But when it comes to reporting the forecasts, it seems those who are mad about cyclones become mad at the media.
Commenting on a recent report about a tropical low possibly forming into a cyclone, one Facebook reader told us we were just spreading panic unnecessarily.
I think we all know by now forecasts don't always eventuate. It's the nature of weather - officials can make predictions about what's on the way but it can change in the blink of an eye, a storm can appear practically out of nowhere or a gentle sun shower could whip up into something more severe.
But a lot of the time, they do eventuate. And wouldn't you rather be prepared early and it be a fizzer instead of hearing nothing and getting slammed by bad weather?
I can't tell you how many times I've witnessed verbal abuse on social media while working at newspapers, with people frustrated that a storm forecast didn't eventuate, or a predicted cyclone turned around or dissipated. Weather and storm chasers cop it the worst. "Hopeless! Why can't you tell me if Smith St will get any rain 10 days from Sunday?
I have a birthday party to host!" or something similar.
The thing is - whether it be volunteer weather watchers or your local newspaper, we're doing our absolute best to bring you the most accurate, up to date info from reliable sources.
It's mostly common sense and listening to official warnings.
There's not much we can do except reinforce the issue to always have your emergency kit handy and keep an eye on the news. In the end we all want everyone to appreciate the much-needed rainfall and get through any wild weather safely.