Thursday, April 26, 2012

21 Years Ago at This Time...

I was on the air, warning Wichita and Andover about the approaching F-5 tornado.

WeatherData, Inc., the company I founded in 1981, did all of the on-air weather for KSNW-TV (NBC) in Wichita.

There were, at times, three tornadoes on the ground simultaneously in our viewing area (and, an F-5 in northern Oklahoma) that evening. I'll certainly never forget it.
The exact moment I said the tornado was headed to Andover.
With me are John Holt and Melissa McDermott.
While 17 were killed in that tornado the Centers for Disease Control, which did an in-depth study, found that approximately 75 would have been killed without the warnings.

Today, the City of Andover is a leader in severe storm safety.

In addition to three public shelters, they activate their tornado sirens only in the areas threatened (cutting down on false alarms) and they use AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions storm warnings. During the tornado twelve days ago that took a similar path to the 1991 storm, our notification allowed them to sound the sirens 13 minutes before a warning was available from government sources.

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