The Critical Importance of Proactive Weather Risk Mitigation for Outdoor Events

I wish to congratulate the organizers of Louisville's Gazebo Fest for cancelling the festival proceedings Sunday night. It was exactly the right decision to make and it may have saved lives. 

Below is an image of damaging wind reports (blue) and tornado reports (red) Sunday. Note there were quite a few damaging wind reports around Louisville.

You may recall that in neighboring Indiana, State Fair officials in 2011 failed to cancel events even though their meteorologist advised them to do so. The results were fatal:
Seven people died and 58 were injured. The fair officials, reportedly, were influenced by a law enforcement officer who looked at radar on his phone. Generally, that type of radar display did not show the level of detail needed to spot the damaging winds. Plus, most law enforcement people do not have any formal meteorological training.

And, just last week, there was a nearly identical high wind-caused stage collapse in Mexico that killed nine.

Organizers of outdoor events should high commercial weather companies that specialize in extreme weather -- and have their own expert meteorologists monitoring your specific site -- to minimize these risks. 


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