Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How Much Time is Optimum For Tornado Warnings?

In the wake of the El Reno tornado of May 31, the discussion about tornado lead time continues. I believe the optimal advance notice for the warning (i.e, take cover! message) is 15 minutes or so. People will not stay in basements or bathtubs much longer than that.

I do agree there is need for a message that tornado conditions may be imminent at the 1 to 3 hour mark. I proposed how to do this in a paper I presented to the American Meteorological Society conference last week.

Others disagree and want one hour of warning. A discussion on that topic is here.

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