Monday, March 4, 2019

Thoughts After Yesterday's Tornado Tragedy

As of now, the death toll from yesterday's storms in the South is 23. Given there are at least two meteorological organizations calling for 2019's tornado season to be worse than normal, I'd like to offer some thoughts and editorial comments about yesterday's storms.

The forecasts for the tornadoes were excellent. You can scroll down to see them and they speak for themselves. Congratulations on a job well done to the NWS Storm Prediction Center.

The warnings were timely and accurate.
The tornado struck at 2:20. Twenty-two minutes of warning is excellent.
May of us were furiously tweeting and otherwise communicating to try to get the word out.
But we are learning there was a complication: Many had no place to shelter.

It is becoming increasingly clear that, in the South, the proliferation of mobile homes and homes without basements are taking a terrible toll. As meteorologist James Aydelott puts it:

Tonight, over the dinner table, discuss what you will do if a tornado warning is issued for your location, especially if you do not have a basement. 

If you live in a mobile home, you need to leave rather than sheltering in the home. Alternatives:
  • A public shelter (if one is nearby) 
  • Friend or relative's home
  • A Catholic church (since most are open 24/7) with a basement (find out in advance)
The question is, when to leave? Like James, I'd like you to leave when a tornado watch is issued but I know, based on human nature, people aren't going to leave hours before the storm arrives. There may not be time if you wait until a tornado warning is issued (traffic, etc.). So, leave your mobile home if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued during a tornado watch. You are going to leave several times per spring but it is worth it to protect yourself and your family.

Advice to all: When a tornado warning is issued, take shelter.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.