Does "TornadoAlert" Work?

I was recently asked whether the product shown below works.
TornadoAlert uses lightning patterns to attempt to warn of tornadoes in your local area in time to take shelter.

First, I have zero direct knowledge about this product. I do know that lightning-based tornado detection devices have been around for about 70 years. I saved up and purchased a Sferics a couple of years after the F-5 Ruskin Heights Tornado (1957) passed south of my neighborhood. 
When lightning rates reached a certain point it would display danger (right) and sound a piercing siren. 

Today's lightning detectors are more sophisticated and likely to do much better. Here are reviews at Amazon. You will also find a first-hand review at StormTrack

The science shows that most supercell thunderstorms have a lightning polarity flip (often negative to positive) just before they produce a tornado. For example, this was true of the F-5 tornado that struck Greensburg, Kansas, in 2007. But, it is not true all of the time. The terrible F-5 Joplin Tornado (2011) did not have a polarity flip. It is also unlikely to detect weak tornadoes with almost no lightning. 

My opinion? If you live in an area that has good radar coverage NWS radar coverage, you probably don't need it. If you live in an area like Baring, MO with terrible radar coverage, it might just be a good idea. How do you tell? Below is a map of radar coverage. People outside the yellow circles may wish to consider the device. Baring is in the blue area in northeast Missouri. 


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