NBC Reports a "Gustnado" Threatens Millions, Uses Day-Old Weather Map

What do you do when you're a major news organization that owns the Weather Channel and your social media editors use an old weather map to warn the wrong people that severe storms packing destructive winds and a gustnado are on their way to screw things up? Nothing, apparently.

NBC News experienced a meteorological trainwreck this morning when they sent out a Tweet at 7:30 AM warning people that "Severe storms, destructive winds and a 'gustnado' threaten millions today."

The map they used to drive home their moot point is from yesterday afternoon, and many of the areas highlighted on that map won't even see rain today. Second, a 'gustnado' can't threaten millions. A gustnado is a small spin-up along the leading edge of a gust front produced by a thunderstorm. While they look like tornadoes to the untrained eye, gustnadoes are usually small and weak, and they are more closely related to dust devils than actual tornadoes.

Plus, there was one yesterday. In rural Nebraska.

NBC Reports a "Gustnado" Threatens Millions, Uses Day-Old Weather Map

The article itself, which took two people to write, features Tea Party math in its headline when they say that 35 million people are under a threat for severe weather — according to the Storm Prediction Center, only 20,566,594 people are at risk today.

The rest of the article is accurate for the most part, reporting the severe weather that occurred yesterday while noting that more is possible today in the Ohio Valley.

Weather information is a dangerous thing when it falls into the wrong hands.

[Top image of last night's impressive storm complex via GOES, screenshot via NBC News]