Someone is using an anonymous web form to lie to the National Weather Service about severe weather.
The simple solution to this is to retire the anonymous web form and use something different. (Why would anyone insist on anonymity to report bad weather, anyway? Fear of retaliation by a high wind or bolt of lightning?)
Changing the form would most likely end the problem, but the National Weather Service instead called in the FBI and some dumb schmuck now faces arrest and prosecution. OK, whoever is doing this is an idiot, but using federal resources -- including the FBI, the US attorney's office, the US Marshal's office (court bailiffs), the federal court system, and maybe the Bureau of Prisons -- seems a bit silly.
The JS reported:
On April 25, a report came in stating that a tornado causing damage and injuries had hit Blue Mound, Ill. Local NBC affiliate WAND-TV in Decatur, Ill., interrupted normal broadcasting to give wall-to-wall coverage of the severe weather for approximately three hours, said Lee Davis, chief meteorologist with WAND-TV.
TV overhyped a non-weather event. Stop the presses -- gee, that's never happened before.
Didn't the reporters there get suspicious when they couldn't find any damage? The station had wall-to-wall coverage for three hours of a tornado nobody could find? Blue Mound, Ill., where the tornado allegedly occurred, has all of 1,129 people in it .6 square miles in size. Where the hell would a tornado hide?
Doesn't the FBI have better things to do?