Tornado-prone stations invest in weather coverage

Posted: Wednesday, 10 July 2013

TROY – A Troy University economics professor has found that broadcasters in tornado-prone states make the largest investments in weather coverage.

In a paper published in the July issue of the "Journal of Economics and Finance," Dr. Daniel Sutter, a professor in the Manuel Johnson Center for Political Economy at TROY, said that stations in markets with a higher tornado rate are more likely to invest in their own Doppler weather radars and have more weathercasters who are certified by the American Meteorological Society. Additionally, stations in markets facing higher hurricane and flood risks also invest more in broadcast meteorology.

"TV stations provide more coverage of weather where it is needed the most – markets in the most tornado-prone states. Fewer weather investments are made by stations in markets where severe weather is rare," Sutter said. "The strong results for tornados are important because they represent a very localized threat and the information conveyed by local weathercasters can valuably supplement National Weather Service warnings," he said.