Sunday, October 16, 2011

First Day of National Weather Association Annual Meeting

Hello from Birmingham. Under beautiful, clear skies and mild temperatures, the 36th meeting of the National Weather Assn. began today.

Some of the interesting things that came out of the meeting's first day:

  • The issue is no longer whether major tornadoes strike without warning. For major tornadoes (F-3 to 5 intensity that cause 89% of the deaths), there will likely be a warning issued in time to take cover.
  • People are getting the warnings. A detailed survey of the Smithfield, MS tornado showed that 98% of the residents knew about the tornado warning. However, many of them did not -- at least initially -- take cover. 
  • In both Smithfield and Tuscaloosa (and as stated in the Joplin tornado's NWS Service Assessment) there is an attitude "tornadoes always hit somewhere else, not where I live...I don't have to worry.
One of the study respondents in Smithfield doesn't want the sirens to go off in the middle of the night. The person went on to say, Don't wake me up, I'd rather die in my sleep.

There was a presentation by Alabama Power about the recovery effort from the April 27 tornado outbreak.

The map on the left side of the picture shows how crews came from most of the the eastern half of the U.S. to help restore power. Or, as Pam Boyd put it, "it wasn't a restoration but a reconstruction." They hung, in one week, enough new wire to stretch from Birmingham to Washington, D.C.  

Other topics:
  • Less than half of the weathercasters (many of whom are meteorologists) trust the IPCC. 
  • By the end of the month, a new satellite, the first-ever to be able to measure both weather and climate-important parameters, will be launched by NASA by the end of the month.
I'll have more on tomorrow's sessions. 

By the way, you do not need to be a meteorologist to attend. If you are interested in weather, we are meeting at the Hotel Wynfrey. Feel free to drop by.

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