Monday, January 23, 2012

The Warning System Saves Lives -- Again


The image above is a screen capture from a CNN video summarizing the tornadoes that occurred last night and this morning from Arkansas to Alabama. At the very beginning of the video, a man describes being in the basement followed by the tornado striking his home. There was a reason he was in the basement: The often-maligned storm warning system.

The map below was posted on this blog at 7:42am yesterday. It depicts the forecast location of tornadoes (colors are relative probabilities) and hatched = F-2 or greater tornado potential.
NWS Storm Prediction Center
Here is the preliminary map showing where the tornadoes (red) occurred. I believe when the damage surveys are complete there will be tornadoes added.
NWS Storm Prediction Center
Perfect? No, but for 12 hours before the tornadoes occurred and for well out-of-season, it did its job to alert people that major weather was on the way. The watches were out well in advance of the first tornadoes.

I'm worried that we are going to have another big tornado season in 2012. Now is the time to prepare.

4 comments:

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  2. And yet ABC News says the tornadoes were a "surprise" and there was "no warning."

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  3. James Spann, the outstanding Birmingham TV meteorologist was on TV all night and accurately tracked the tornado. The NWS put out accurate, timely warnings. I have Facebook friends that told me the sirens woke them up (on my blog yesterday, I told people to crack their windows so they could hear the sirens during the night!), and had time to go to the basement!

    Meteorology: "The Rodney Dangerfield of Sciences"

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  4. To put things into even more perspective, here's a quick (and not perfect, but as you can see from the state outlines, pretty close) overlay graphic I threw together. I'd say they did a fantastic job predicting this one so far in advance.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/87843/report-overlay.png

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