We all know that the news media likes to use sensational terms when covering any news story.

They have to make the event as SHOCKING as possible in the hopes of getting your attention and keeping it.

Yet often the terms they use lead people to misunderstand or believe things that are just not true.

So let's take a look at some of the terms and words the news media has been using to describe the recent Yellowstone flood.

Worst Flood In Yellowstone's History! Actually, no it's not.

UNPRECEDENTED! This word has been used to describe the amount of rain that fell on the park as well as the high waters.

anxious scared girl looking at phone seeing bad news
SIphotography, ThinkStock Images

The word "unprecedented"  is an adjective that means never done or known before.

The amount of rain that fell on Yellowstone the day of the flood was a lot, but nowhere near "unprecedented."

Nor was the flooding itself "unprecedented." Flooding like this, and worse, has happened before in this area.

This is the worst flooding Yellowstone has seen since humans have been making records, in modern times. But that is less than 100 years.

Geological records show foods like this and worse than this have happened in the past. Evidence of older and worse flood events are scarred into Yellowstone's mountains, hillsides, and valleys.

So let's take a look at what really happened- without the media hype.

attachment-YouTube Beartooth Slingshot Rentals Video

According to regional meteorologist Don Day, of Day Weather, it was not the "perfect storm" that caused the flood but events lining up "perfectly" over time.

The mountains of Yellowstone got lots of snow this past winter and into the spring. A lot, but nothing usual happened.

Warm weather did not come until late in the spring. That happens every so often.

That allowed even more snow to pile up and kept it cold.

Then, suddenly, warm summer-like temperatures arrived at the same time as some warm thunderstorms.

Snow-covered trees and mountains, winter
David De Lossy

Those thunderstorms dumped a lot of rain in a short period of time. Yet they were not "unprecedented."

The warm rain with the warm weather melted lots of snow.

The warmth with the warmer rain fell on the snow and melted a good amount of it in a short period of time.

During most other years the snow would have slowly melted away.

Don Day, the founder and CEO of Day Weather, on Tuesday scoffed at the statement of a Los Angeles Times reporter, “This is what climate change looks like,” Sammy Roth, an LA Times energy reporter, said in an emotional tweet.

“If these people had any understanding of weather history or what has happened in the past with weather and climate across the globe, then they would have an appreciation that things like this happen all the time and they happened all the time before the Industrial Revolution,” Day said. (Cowboy State Daily).


Events like this are big enough as it is. They do not need to be hyped.

People should not be made to think that something unusual or weird happened.

More responsible journalists would have explained this in more level-headed terms.

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