Another View of the National Weather Service's Tornado Warning Experiment

I have written, several times, about the unfortunate experiment being conducted by the National Weather Service on many of the people living Missouri, Kansas and southwest Illinois pertaining to tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings. I spell out my concerns at the link. Nothing that has occurred I wrote that piece in February has assuaged my conviction this is a bad idea.

As we saw the evening of April 14, the people of Conway Springs, Kansas, were told it was a "tornado emergency," that they would die if they didn't get underground, and that there would be "catastrophic" damage. What happened? Nothing. The tornado completely missed Conway Springs. What I am concerned about is what will the people of Conway Springs do the next time when it is an "ordinary" tornado warning now that "DEFCON 3" (the highest category of warning) was a bust?

More and more are expressing doubts about this experiment. Here are some thoughts from Norman, Oklahoma research meteorologist, Chuck Doswell.

The fact is we don't have the scientific skill to predict exact tornado locations and tornado intensities.

So, as this experiment goes on for another six months, all you need to know is that a tornado warning is in effect and -- if you are in the tornado warning -- take shelter. Tune out the rest.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Darly, this blog has a policy that comments MUST be on the topic of the posting. Yours was not. You are welcome to post that comment as part of my piece about AccuWeather's 25-day forecasts.

  3. sorry, could you kindly point to said post?

  4. Darly, you are welcome to post about the 25-day forecast here:

  5. Mike - I wondered if Chuck would ever give his two cents on this subject and he hit the nail on the head. Realisticly, no matter how much the NWS, SPC and local TV meteorologists waive their arms and flash red lights, ultimately its everyones own responsiblity to understand the warning. I do think that the evidence of April 27th Outbreak and the Joplin Tornado will later show that while both tragic, each incident had specific reasons as to why they caused as many deaths as they did.

    On a lighter note, maybe some meteorologists could resort to this as an alternative?:

    Looking forward to the new book!


  6. Okay thanks, I am not sure how to post a comment that bridges these two posts and does not get deleted. 50% of my deleted post here would not be relevant on that post either.

  7. Darly, go ahead and post there. I will not delete it as the topic you wish to post on is mentioned there (as well as several other times if you wish to find them). Your post was completely irrelevant to the subject of the 3-tiered tornado warnings and was deleted.


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