Saturday, May 22, 2010

The False Alarm Problem

Many times, I have bragged about meteorologists' ability to accurately warn of tornadoes. The problem we have is too many false alarms. This video from NewsOK shows the rotation Wednesday evening moving over Stillwater, Oklahoma. You can see both the rotation and the brightness associated with the "rear flank downdraft" which we believe is important for tornado spinup.

Radar showed the rotation, the rotation was there, and the ingredient for the spinup was there. Yet, no tornado. We simply don't know why this was the case. Until we get it figured out, we have no choice but to warn.

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