Thursday, May 4, 2017

Greensburg: The Perfect Storm (Warning)!

The Hutchinson News has a great article about warning of the Greensburg Tornado. That terrible storm was ten years ago this evening.

As I describe in Warnings, weather science saved more than 230 lives that night. As perspective, that is more lives than were saved in the "Miracle on the Hudson." The warnings were so good, the police and fire departments had time to proactively move emergency vehicles outside of Greensburg before the tornado struck so they would be available assist with rescues after the storm struck. As the mayor of Greensburg, Bob Dixon, told me, not only did weather science save lives, we saved the town. The Wichita Eagle has a great video if you would like to see what the town looks like now. Its recovery has been amazing.
Dave Freeman warning of the Greensburg Tornado
So, congratulations to Greensburg on its recovery. And, most of all, thanks to all of the following,
  • NWS Storm Prediction Center meteorologists for the accurate and timely tornado watch
  • Dodge City NWS meteorologists for the superb tornado warnings
  • Storm spotters and storm chasers for risking their lives for others that night (the true definition of being "heroes," by the way). Sheriff's deputy Tim Buckman gave his life tracking the storm. 
  • TV meteorologists Dave Freeman, Jay Prater and Merril Teller for an amazing job 
  • AccuWeather for its unique tornado tracking equipment used by KWCH TV and its meteorologists and chasers that evening
  • AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions (then, WeatherData, Inc.) meteorologists for keeping two Union Pacific trains out of the path of the tornado
The Dodge City NWS link connects you meteorologist Mike Umscheid's blog written a few hours after the tornado. Mike was the NWS radar meteorologist tasked that evening with warning Greensburg and the rest of southwest Kansas. While it includes a bit of meteorological jargon, it is a great review of what he did that night to get the word out. 

Weather science is dealing with some issues at the moment. I'm hopeful the National Weather Service will get its storm warning program back on track and I'm confident that AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions will continue to provide outstanding storm warning services to all of its corporate clientele. 

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