National Weather Service Tornado Warnings: What Is the Fix?

We have discussed the fatal tornadoes of the past seven weeks (here, here and here) in addition to the numerous other examples from earlier this year. 

What is the solution?

I'm not sure. 

One very quick fix would be for the head of the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue an immediate order for the field offices to stop the nonsense as regards radar operations when tornadoes are forecast: the radars immediately go on 80-second update intervals until things are all-clear throughout their county warning area. 

Running the radar at seven-minute intervals during a tornado forecast is a formula for utter disaster, especially at night. 

The rest isn't as clear. Undoubtedly, there is a training issue. A quarter-century ago, the NWS ran a 4-week radar and storm warning training course in Norman, OK and all of its meteorologists were required to attend. That no longer exists. With the retirement of my generation of meteorologists, all of that expertise has walked out of the door.

I'm convinced there is more to it than training and radar data intervals but I don't know what the additional issue(s) might be. That is why -- more than ever -- I'm convinced we need a National Disaster Review Board (NDRB), modeled after the highly successful National Transportation Safety Board -- to look into NWS, FEMA, emergency management and other entities that serve the disaster space. 

The NWS seems resistant to the idea of a NDRB but there are advantages. It would provide political cover for increasing the number of radars, changing software, et cetera. While I am a Reagan conservative and hate to see government grow, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. One note: since we already have panels that handle global warming, the NDRB must be forbidden to get into the global warming controversy. 


Popular posts from this blog

[1:10am Update] Tornado Forecast for Rest of the Night

First Tornado Watch of the Day Issued

Hilary's Forecast Path Shifts West; Updated 9:20am PDT