Meteorologists: Promote the Value of What We Do!

St Louis Post-Dispatch
Violent tornadoes occurred in the Mississippi Valley last night. For a terrifying video of a huge tornado approaching at night, click here

There were at least four paths of what appear to be major tornadoes across southeast Missouri and southwest Illinois. And, those tornadoes occurred in darkness, which usually makes them more deadly. 

But, at least at this point. Things are looking good. As far as I can tell, the warnings were excellent. For that the NWS in St. Louis and the STL broadcast meteorologists deserve credit. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published this comment:
I appreciate Alex's comment, but I think there is something missing, which might be highlighted by the Twitter comment below.
"We can't devise an early warning system for tornadoes?" What does she think all of the information below was? All of the television coverage? The sirens going off?

As I discuss in Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather, it never seems to occur to most people that the tornado warning system -- which has achieved a 95% success in cutting the rates of death from tornadoes -- is a Nobel-worthy scientific accomplishment. 

So, I would suggest to all meteorologists what, when asked about a recent tornado situation and assuming the warnings were successful, we say,

We are fortunate there were no fatalities or serious injuries. That was due in large part to the tornado warning system which worked well and saved lives last night. 

Otherwise, we are doomed to fight with Congress and the bureaucracy as to the value of what we do and our profession will not receive the respect it so richly deserved. 


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