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Misuse of Tornado Warnings

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posted on Jul, 25 2005 @ 10:09 PM
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A few nights ago we had a line of very strong storms move through our area. The storms were very electrified and were fun to watch. All the sudden near 10pm the sirens start going off. Many times the sirens go off for a severe thunderstorm warning. This time however it was for a tornado warning. So I come inside to watch the reports and the warning was issued because of a storm that was able to produce a tornado. None had been reported but there was a rotation to the storm so a tornado was possible. Wait a second. I thought that was what a tornado watch was supposed to be. When conditions were favorable for tornadic development. But they are also posting warnings for that as well. There comes the boy that cried wolf thing again. Eventually people will get tired of false alarms. Same type of thing is happening for severe thunderstorms. Warnings are being issued for every marginal storm to come along. It has been a while since we've had a storm that met the severe criteria dispite having a great number of warnings issued.

Anyone else having this problem with the NWS in their area?




posted on Jul, 25 2005 @ 10:29 PM
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We have that problem in Canada.

Seems everyday has a warning. When it's nice it's the UV index, smog alerts, high humidity and pollen counts for the summer and extreme cold and wind chills in the winter. When it's bad weather you get the strong wind warnings, dangerous lightning, heavy rains, possible hail, possible whatever.

Every storm is a warning whether it be summer or the slightest snowfall in winter.

Rediculous.

Another avenue of manufactured fear.
.

[edit on 7/25/2005 by Gools]



posted on Jul, 25 2005 @ 10:31 PM
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I think it's a "cover your butt" mentality, better to be safe and warn, than not to warn at all. Imo it just means that meteorology is still quite unpredictable and maybe getting even a bit strange these days for forecasters.



posted on Jul, 25 2005 @ 10:38 PM
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Same thing where I live. The county I live in is the only county in Minnesota that sounds the siren when a thunderstorm is approaching. The National Weather Service does not completely govern the use of the sirens. The county has the choice as to when they sound the alarm.

I for one think it is one of the dumbest things I have heard of. One of these days, the sirens are going to go off, a bunch of people are going to run outside, and a tornado is going to land on them.

I grew up in the Midwest, right in tornado alley. When the sirens went off, you didn't wait to see what the weather was going to be like. You high-tailed it to the basement.

It is kind of ironic actually. The last few storms that have gone through, the wind picks up, it starts to rain, the sirens go off, then BOOM!!! Thunderclap!! So glad they sounded those sirens, that thunder would not have informed me of a serious storm. Not to mention, if there is any sort of severe weather ANYWHERE in the state, every fricking channel switches to weather coverage. Not sure what the county thinks it is doing by sounding the alarms as often as they do.



posted on Jul, 25 2005 @ 10:44 PM
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I live in part of tornado country (Indiana). We've had 2 hit within a couple miles of my place in the past 3 years. In fact one was only 2 blocks or so away. Far too often warnings are issued when watches are appropriate. People get so used to hearing the sirens and getting only a thunderstorm that one day the sirens will go off and nobody will respond. That time there will be an F4 tornado ripping through town and no one will pay attention.



posted on Jul, 25 2005 @ 11:08 PM
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I would much rather have too many warnings then not have enough warnings. Better safe than sorry, and more the better.

Anyhow, if you have lived in that area long enough, you should be able to determine favorable 'conditions' or not, correct?





seekerof



posted on Jul, 25 2005 @ 11:12 PM
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Favorable versus non-favorable isn't the problem. It is them issuing a tornado warning which means a tornado has been spotted when that isn't the case.



posted on Jul, 25 2005 @ 11:17 PM
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Might this have something to do with federal funds? Maybe the county uses statistics on warnings to appeal for budget increases? I was just looking at FEMA the other day, and I was surprised by a steadily increasing number of federally declared disasters.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

I think the states are squeezing the feds for dollars. Budget crunches tend to bring out the scavenger in local politicians...

Perhaps there's a connection?

[edit on 25-7-2005 by WyrdeOne]



posted on Jul, 25 2005 @ 11:21 PM
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Originally posted by Indy
Favorable versus non-favorable isn't the problem. It is them issuing a tornado warning which means a tornado has been spotted when that isn't the case.


Ahh, I see. Thanks.
Where I live, we get alot of "favorable conditions" warnings, mainly downbursts, but potent nonetheless.

When I lived in Texas and then was stationed in Wichita Falls, it was like crazy the amount of tornado warnings that were issued. Being I live on the East Coast now, hurricane season is the deal. Great surfing, when applicable.





seekerof

[edit on 25-7-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Jul, 25 2005 @ 11:32 PM
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What would you do if they kept issuing hurricane warnings and the storms never came? Would you quit listening after a while? I figured the only time tornados hit is when I am not at home. The last tornado which hit 2 blocks from my house hit while I was out of town for a couple of days. I was on my way out of town when the one hit a year or two before that. So fair warning Hoosiers... If I go out of town you better keep an eye to the sky.



posted on Jul, 25 2005 @ 11:46 PM
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Not to be rude or to cut you off, Indy, but I can track a hurricane, whereas, I cannot do so for a tornado. If the NWS issues a hurricane advisory, it is or can be readily verified and tracked.

I do understand what you are saying, but in my own ignorance, I would simply assert what I did before: better safe than sorry. Tornado's are so unpredictable that actually, having them over-issue warnings, whether deemed necessary or not to some, is simply a matter of necessity, IMHO.

The death toll from tornado's alone would more than justify the majority of those warnings, again, IMHO.






seekerof

[edit on 25-7-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 12:13 AM
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Personally to me the very fact that I cannot accurately track a tornado makes the warnings that much more important and false positives that much more dangerous. I can track a hurricane just fine and it wouldn't matter to me (and it really doesn't matter to me) what the NHC says. But lets assume I didn't have access to hurricane data and satellite images and I had to go by what the NHC said and if they issued warnings like the NWS issued warnings for tornados I'd tend to ignore them after a while. Its not like they are batting a high percentage and its the rare occasion that a tornado doesn't surface. In my state it is all too often that the tornado does not appear. It is becoming more and more rare that the tornado actually shows up. They are relying far too much on doppler radar. It has become a crutch in my opinion much like models have become with hurricane forecasting.

Edit: I was checking the latest definition of tornado warning and they have lowered the bar. It used to be that a tornado had to be sighted. Now the radar just has to think there is one. The radar looks for a hook echo which indicates a rotation in the storm. However the radar does not look at whether the rotation extends below the clouds. The result is alot of false positives.

[edit on 7/26/2005 by Indy]



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 12:24 AM
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Originally posted by Indy
Edit: I was checking the latest definition of tornado warning and they have lowered the bar. It used to be that a tornado had to be sighted. Now the radar just has to think there is one. The radar looks for a hook echo which indicates a rotation in the storm. However the radar does not look at whether the rotation extends below the clouds. The result is alot of false positives.


That there may be the heart of the problem then, Indy?
I'm not sure, but it might be.




seekerof

[edit on 26-7-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 12:31 AM
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That really is the problem. It is always a warning because of a doppler indicated tornado. It is the rare time when its a doppler indicated tornado confirmed by a state trooper or whatever. It has basically taken the human element out of the warning system. Not sure that is a very good idea.



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 10:00 AM
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Gotta agree with you


Whenever there is a somewhat possible tornado-producing storm, the sirens are up and screaming. But this one time when there actually was a tornado (ok funnel cloud, it never really touched down completely. But dirt and dust off a nearby farm was being kicked up and spun around) where are the sirens?


I really don't get it.



posted on Jul, 26 2005 @ 12:49 PM
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They are taking all the skill out of forecasting. The absolute worst are some of the local tv weather personalities that take bad information and then butcher it. We had a line of storms moving in one day and the radar was picking up columns of rotating air. Of course the local weathermen got all excited about it. I'm thinking the whole time "you clowns... tornados don't form at the very front of the storm". You guys have seen how bad the front of a storm can look with the big wall of black clouds? As bad as it looks it isn't where the tornados come from.

So you take bad data, get it butchered by the local weatherman and then the average view who knows nothing about the subject gets all upset and goes in to hiding for no reason.



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