Change in Tornado Warning Strategy

Here is an article concerning changes in strategy in tornado warnings from the National Weather Service.

I think the reporter or editor made a mistake with the comment that tornado warnings cause complacency. Obviously, what was meant was false alarms cause complacency. I agree.

From about 1999 to 2007, the National Weather Service put a strong emphasis on increasing "lead time," which is the interval from when the warning is issued to when the tornado occurs. As the article mentioned, the average lead time at Birmingham (and many NWS offices) is 16 minutes. That is excellent and, in my opinion, more than sufficient.

I believe the NWS needs to transition from putting much of its emphasis on increasing lead time to increasing the accuracy and reliability of tornado warnings.

More accurate warnings with 12-15 minutes of lead time would be a major step forward.


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