Monday, November 17, 2014

Anniversary of Midwest Tornado Outbreak

Today is the one-year commemoration of the Washington, Illinois, tornado and others that occurred in the Midwest. There are many videos being put up which show extreme emotions of victims when people realized their homes have been destroyed. You will have to look elsewhere for those because I believe it is exploitive to picture people during one of the most stressful moments of their lives.

I wish to focus on the (relatively) good news: The very few deaths.

The forecasts were excellent. The day before the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center called for a major severe weather event in the area where the storms occurred the next day.

Even though major tornadoes in the morning are infrequent, the warnings were excellent. Here is an example of one of the many warning messages carried on this blog. The arrow points to the location of the tornado as it approached Washington.

Samples of the coverage:
  • Dangerous tornado outbreak hours away
  • First tornado update for Washington. 
  • Second tornado update for Washington (see radar illustration above)
This is the type of tornado outbreak that used to kills dozens, if not more than more than a hundred. Slowly, weather science is beginning to get the recognition it deserves.
So, to all of the meteorologists who launch weather balloons in the wind and rain, work midnight shifts, trudge through the snow to measure its accumulation, and suffer eyestrain watching the radar during tornado outbreaks -- congratulations on yet another job well-done. 

You know, someone should write a book about this scientific triumph!

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