Opinion

Letters to the editor

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December 26, 2017

A storm lashed the region on Tuesday evening.

We warned

- Dr Andrew Tupper, state manager, Victoria

Bureau of Meteorology

The Bureau of Meteorology totally agrees with the Shepparton News about the great work of the State Emergency Services (‘‘Emergency service thanks’’, Shepparton News, December 21).

I would just like to set the record straight about the warnings issued for the severe thunderstorms last Tuesday night (December 19), as I don’t agree that the ‘‘bureau did not whisper a word about the storm’’.

We had actually forecast that severe thunderstorms were likely in our public thunderstorm outlooks for the day, and then when they developed during the afternoon, we issued several severe thunderstorm warnings through our normal distribution channels and also through social media.

We proactively provided information about the potential for severe storms to media throughout the day.

We continually updated our warnings as the storms moved through Victoria and as usual, we were in constant contact with emergency services through the state control centre.

We don’t always get things right, but on this day I think that we were as right and as loud as we could have reasonably been, given the fast-paced nature of severe thunderstorms as they develop and move.

That does not diminish the pain of the damage caused, or the hard work of the SES.

However, we strongly believe that the constant updates, communication of our warnings, radar, satellite images, and weather observations being distributed to media and emergency services was a valuable tool in effective preparation and response.

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