Correction to the Locations included in the Tornado Warning Test

I have an incorrect list of the National Weather Service offices participating in the test of the severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings I write about below. Here is the correct list:

  • St. Louis (meaning part of Illinois is included)

  • Springfield (meaning traumatized Joplin will be experimented upon)

  • Kansas City

  • Topeka

  • Wichita

To the best of my knowledge, the rest of the posting is correct. Thanks to Chance Hayes and Chad Omitt for the correct list of offices.


  1. Soooo... this means the area and the number of people being "experimented upon" is significantly MORE than we originally thought, right? Although half of Kansas has been dropped we now have almost ALL of Missouri (save for a few counties covered by Paducah or Memphis NWS offices) and a sizeable chunk of Illinois in play.

  2. That is correct.

    I spoke with a Joplinite on Thursday and, as you would expect, she describes the people there as "traumatized." The last thing they need is experimentation when it comes to tornadoes.

  3. What if the experiment had been limited to, say, one or two NWS offices in Kansas, Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle or some other relatively sparsely populated area that had NOT recently suffered significant/killer tornadoes?

    Bringing KC and STL and the Metro East area of IL (and, of course, Joplin) into the mix right off the bat is taking a pretty darn big gamble. I suppose it could be compared to making a test flight of a controversial new aircraft that no one knows for sure will even get off the ground, with just the pilot and a few crew members on board, vs. flying it almost fully loaded with passengers (and "captive" passengers at that).

  4. Elaine - that's not at all what is being done. Nothing personal, but everyone is under the assumption that every NWS meteorologist, TV weathercaster, and emergency manager is an idiot.

    While there may be some - the majority clearly are not as stupid as people commenting here think.

  5. Rob,

    While I believe that TV meteorologists and NWS meteorologists are certainly not "stupid", there is nothing to be gained by adding complexity to the warning system.

    Notice that I did not comment here on emergency managers. I just posted a revised piece about EM's and there are many unfortunate decisions being made by EM's right now.


  6. There is plenty to be gained. A reduction in TORs is a VERY good thing. I guess we can disagree to disagree ;) Honestly I don't understand why you would rather those spin-up 65mph eddies get 9-county blanket tornado warnings as they do under the existing system.

  7. This is the source of our disagreement: I do not see a reduction in TORs. I see far more TORs as they ratchet up the warning type when a debris ball appears. And, I see many more SVRs containing "A tornado is possible" as a means of CYA whether there is any rotation indicated or not.

    Once the "tornado is possible" sentence (which is a form of CYA from where I sit) has been issued, EM's (see posting above) will start sounding sirens, schools will put kids in hallways, etc. Vast overwarning.

    Over the years, I've recommended to the NWS they issue "Hail Warnings" or "Extreme Wind" warning and abolish the SVR. For a squall line tornado, they could cover it with an Extreme Wind Warning for, say, 100 mph winds. I'd have no problems with an EM blowing the sirens for that (assuming that type of warning was appropriately rare).

    Now, however, we are regressing and EM's are making the decision to blow the sirens for 1" hail. Massive Overwarning ---> Complacency ----> People Not Taking Shelter When the Threat is Real.

  8. Copied from the other discussion--"I’m not sure I see why siren activation will be reduced with this new system, maybe this part of the problem. If they are issuing SVRs with the line “a tornado is possible” (and isn’t that already in a TS Warning?) are the “siren authorities” going to react differently than before since this is a new system. Are the new SVRs supposed to signaling something different? What is a school going to do? Or my workplace? I’m giving a storm talk to dorm students at the college where I teach and now I wonder what to tell them about the meaning of sirens, when/why they are activated (which is already confusing enough around here). That “we”, who are supposedly more knowledgeable about these things, are confused, doesn’t portend very well for when this is introduced to the public, especially last-minute."

  9. Hi Mike,

    You mentioned there has been no public notice about this topic. Not sure if the other WCMs already pointed you in this direction, but a PNS was issued earlier this month:

    There is also a link in that document pointing to the Product Description Document:

    Hope this helps!


  10. Neither are "public" notices as the former runs on the FOS and other limited distribution means. People don't have DDS in their homes.

    There is still no notice on, for example, the home pages of the WFO's affected.


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