How Far We Have Come

A friend posted this headline on Facebook from April 4, 1974:
There were comments about how 300+ deaths were not the lead story. I suspect the reason was that people were still used to large death tolls from tornadoes and it was not considered that newsworthy. The tornado warning system in 1974 was quite immature. Many areas (Xenia, Ohio, for example, which was hit by an F-5) had poor radar coverage. The weather wires ran an hour behind in the affected region.

The April 3-4 tornado outbreak, the 40th anniversary of which we commemorating this week, was the impetus for many changing leading to the excellent tornado warning system we have today. I cover the story (starting on page 190) in Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather. It really is a story of courage and people acting in the best interests of our nation and its people against considerable odds.

Now, to the threat 40 years later.

A severe weather outbreak (defined as numerous tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in a single event) is expected on the 40th anniversary over the yellow area. I have highlighted, in orange, a preliminary forecast of where the tornado threat may be the highest.
I'm always concerned, with a fair amount of evidence backing this up, people can be caught off-guard in the first tornado event of the season. So, please check with your friends and families if you live in the yellow areas to make sure they are aware of the threat and are paying attention to the weather Thursday and Thursday night.


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