2008-02-05 DISC: TX / AR / MO / IL / KY / TN / MS

Nov 5, 2007
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Birmingham, AL.
Jeff,
I will make one more reply to this and then I am done. There was not an argument or issue in statistics of what type structure contributed to the total number of deaths. I feel the problem came about because of a bigoted and uneducated remark pertaining to "Natural Selection" being to blame for deaths and how and what "states" these people lived. Read his statement, how it was written, and see what the actual definition is of "natural selection." Obviously this type of bigoted comment has offended many people, otherwise why did so many respond in the manner we did? If this is not true, than I might as well say that because I have a Master's Degree, two Bachelor's Degrees, live in a brick house and am twice as old as the one who wrote that, than I am less likely to be killed in a tornado and I am twice as smart. Doesn't make much sense, does it?
 
Nov 5, 2007
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Birmingham, AL.
Jeff and Perry,
Good point on the political coverage and cable networks. I have often wondered why the cable companies do not find a way of broadcasting some type of warning, tone or otherwise, to advise people to tune to their local stations for more info. I am sure the technology is there.
 
Jun 9, 2004
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I feel the problem came about because of a bigoted and uneducated remark pertaining to "Natural Selection" being to blame for deaths and how and what "states" these people lived. Read his statement, how it was written, and see what the actual definition is of "natural selection." Obviously this type of bigoted comment has offended many people, otherwise why did so many respond in the manner we did?
Aaron was referencing comments that people on the news were stating that they received no warning. His comments were aimed more towards to the people who supposedly received no warning when this event was so well forecasted and warned for. I don't think he was making any comments towards someone's class (as Jeff has noted); further, as Jeff noted, Aaron was quoting a study that came to certain conclusions about this area of the country (as Jeff also noted). So, like Jeff said, everyone just breathe. Further, if Aaron's post was so offensive why did it take nearly 2 days and several pages of posts for it to be brought up?! Exactly...so calm down.

I think there are some important issues (this maybe outside the scope of the DISC thread , though I would argue for this event it is not, but since it's being discussed here I'll just chime in) brought up: what the hell was the national media (minus the Weather Channel) doing on this event?! There were umpteen million (exaggeration) tornado warnings out and they kept coming out for several hours and they kept spreading across the country? At what point do the national networks think "Hey, this might be important" Regardless of the elections--I mean seriously how many times can they repeat who is projected to win a state--how did the national media not jump on an obvious real-time, life-threatening situation?! I think it's pretty pathetic that even the next day it was difficult to get info of the damage off their pages due to the elections and the results of Heath Ledger's autopsy (OMFG!). I don't think they really jumped on it until they had nice "pretty" pictures of the damage. Overall, I think they local media outlets did great...not so much for their national partners.
 
Mar 6, 2005
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Palaven
www.stormskies.com
I think there is some misunderstanding of Aaron Kennedy's post here. He quoted a published article, and he mentions that many of the deaths may be caused more by sociological issues than meteorological issues. As was noted, this event was forecast almost as well as it could have been (mentioned on Day 4-8 outlook, MDT risk on Day 2, HIGH risk on Day 1, PDS tornado watches out hours ahead of time, tornado warnings lead time was very good in most cases, etc). So, from a meteorological and warning system standpoint, the event was handled almost as well as it could have been. So, when it's well known that a tornado outbreak is likely (and occurring), how do we reduce fatalities in outbreaks like this one?
Jeff,

I've no desire to get enbroiled in a right vs. wrong or an argument about who said what - but I do feel that you've exemplified my previous points quite well. I feel that we are still thinking from a CHASER'S standpoint - not a civilian's. I work with 35+ common-or-garden Arkansans on a day-to-day basis and I can guarantee you that not one of them knows what a Day 1 Outlook is, a PDS watch is, or knows the exact meaning of a high risk, or even knows of the existence of sites such as THIS, let alone how to utilize them. Case in point - over the past two years, I have sent out hundreds of emails at my workplace, linking to severe weather resources at SPC and the NWS when a severe event is in the making. No matter how many people I write to and no matter how many 3-page emails I send to my colleagues telling them where the best and most reliable source of warning and watch information can be found - they STILL come to me on the morning of a severe event and say "Oh Karen - I saw the weather this morning on Channle Eleven and Fox O'Brien says it's going to get real bad up our way sometime today - right??". Deeeeeep breath. Therefore, by posting about these facts - we are indeed only "preaching to the choir", nothing more. We can wax lyrical about how amazing the SPC's Day 2 and Day 1 outlooks were and how they "nailed it" here on ST or WX-CHASE or CFDG or WUnderground or any other of the wx forums - but the fact remains that we are not the public. We are not the people in Clinton, AR who now have no home left.

And, for what it's worth, I tend to agree with Randy etc. regarding Aaron's post way back on page 4 or wherever it was. His points are true to a certain degree - but his delivery was pretty poor and the odd comment about our good old ST buddy "natural selection" was not only a bit harsh on the families who have lost loved ones to this outbreak but also rather offensive to certain people.

KL
 
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Dec 9, 2003
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Oklahoma
Jeff,

I've no desire to get enbroiled in a right vs. wrong or an argument about who said what - but I do feel that you've exemplified my previous points quite well. I feel that we are still thinking from a CHASER'S standpoint - not a civilian's. I work with 35+ common-or-garden Arkansans on a day-to-day basis and I can guarantee you that not one of them knows what a Day 1 Outlook is, a PDS watch is, or knows the exact meaning of a high risk, or even knows of the existence of sites such as THIS, let alone how to utilize them. Therefore, by posting about these facts - we are indeed only "preaching to the choir", nothing more. We can wax lyrical about how amazing the SPC's Day 2 and Day 1 outlooks were and how they "nailed it" here on ST or WX-CHASE or CFDG or WUnderground or any other of the wx forums - but the fact remains that we are not the public. We are not the people in Clinton, AR who now have no hom
KL
Karen,

We're still saying the same thing. From a METEOROLOGY standpoint, this event was handled almost as well as possible. I used the SPC outlooks, watches, and warnings as examples of how the meteorology/science part of the event was anticipated, forecast, and warned.

From a SOCIOLOGICAL perspective, though, the question is how the warnings were received, and what people did when they received them. What did people do when they heard the sirens?
If there were no sirens, how many people had a weather radio to receive the warning?
For those who knew they were under a tornado warning, how many people actually took action?
If people went outside to work for a little bit, did they know there was a risk of tornadoes, and what did they do to ensure they would receive warnings while they were out-and-about?
How many of the deaths occurred when people went outside to try to "find" the tornado?
If we are talking about mobile home parks, how many people took shelter at the home parks' tornado shelters (if they had shelters)?
If we are talking about permanent homes, WHERE did people take shelter?
Did people go to someone else's home if they felt their home was unsafe (no basement, no center room, no shelter, etc)?
If people knew they were under a tornado watch, and they knew there was a tornado outbreak earlier, how many went to bed without any way to receive the warning?

There are a myriad of questions that need to be asked to figure out how to reduce life loss. Of course, some people likely just got unlucky and had to face an extremely strong tornado that left a much reduced chance of survival. But I have a feeling that many deaths will not be from "unsurvivable situations". Many people have survived direct hits from even EF5/F5 tornadoes, so there really isn't too much that truly is "unsurvivable" (really only the "foundation wiped clean" events with no basement, underground shelter, or safe room). Yes, again, SOME situations are difficult to survive, but I think it's much more common than not for there to be a "best action plan" that would significant reduce the risk of death if enacted.

Most of this is what I'll call the "action" part of the warning system. The issuance part of the warning system (largely consisting of the NWS, SPC, and local media outlets)did it's job. The action part (the public who receive the warnings and must act upon those warnings) appears not to have gone so smoothly.

EDIT: Per Randy's post below -- it's great to hear that some (presumably, many) did take precautions and did take action when they heard the warning!
 
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May 22, 2007
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Amarillo, Texas
To address Perry’s comment regarding many folks watching the national cable networks—that is certainly a good point. Having not watched the national coverage myself, I cannot say to what extent the national news networks were breaking into coverage of the primaries. Based on Kiel’s comments, it seems like they didn’t do a particularly good job at cut-ins. That’s a problem that needs to be address, in my opinion.

To address the mobile home issue—yes, it’s no secret that the south has a higher percentage of people who live in them. However, there are so many more factors to this event that need to be considered.

From HUN’s blog:

“We met a father of 3 who heard the warning via NOAA Weather Radio, woke up his family and ran 150 yards to a storm shelter they share with a neighbor just in time as the tornado hit. In fact, the force of the wind blew the shelter door out of his hand. He recounted in vivid detail holding onto his wife and children to keep them from being sucked out.” – From Chris Darden, SOO

“Another wonderful story was the lady who woke to the NWR tone alert and hid in an interior closet. Their two story brick home was leveled, but she survived with cuts and broken bones.” – Also from Chris Darden

Reading further, it was obvious that this event impacted Chris quite a bit. You also gain the sense of how much of an impact this event had and thus understand how so many lives could have been lost.

“I can't get the images of childrens' toys laying in rubble out of my head. Of course, there will be another "big event" to come along in the future. I, for one, won't be quick to forget February 6th or the residents of Lawrence County that were impacted by this one.”

This blog entry is worth reading.

And as for taking a deep breath, I’ll take a deep breath when less people are killed in significant tornado events such as Tuesday's.
 
Jan 7, 2006
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Norman, OK
www.skyinmotion.com
I'm not sure anyone thus far has invoked a regional-stereotype explanation for the death toll ("dumb Southerners"), so I'm not sure where or why that idea got started. Seems overly defensive on the part of those who brought it up.

On that note, I have to say, it seems just about every aspect of a typical Southeast outbreak is working against efforts to keep people safe:

- Often after-dark
- Often during the cool season when, right or wrong, many believe tornadoes are unlikely
- Extremely fast storm motions
- Poor terrain for visibility
- Poor visibility/messy HP character of the storms themselves
- Greater/more spread out rural population

Taking this into consideration, I'm not so sure awareness is much worse in the South than in the Plains; or at least it's difficult to accurately discern if that's the case based solely on the higher death tolls. The same level of awareness that saves you from a 4:00 PM cone put down by a 30 mph classic supercell with 1000 m LCL's in May in Kansas may be completely insufficient in a nasty outbreak like this Tuesday's.

Plus, I have to say, I've seen plenty of signs of pathetic cluelessness in the Plains, too. I once ran into an older woman who claimed to have been a survivor of the May 3 event in Moore. She said she took shelter in an interior room just in the nick of time after seeing the wedge approaching from less than a mile away. Her explanation for why she didn't heed advance warning? She had "heard" on the news that the tornado had already "passed by" Moore and was now moving on to Bridge Creek - 10 miles to her southwest. If this doesn't demonstrate the fact that some people are beyond saving even in the face of modern warning systems, I don't know what does.

I guess my point is that the explanation for higher death tolls in the SE need not rely on the intelligence or socioeconomic status of that region's inhabitants, so there's really no reason to get up in arms about it!
 
Mar 6, 2005
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Palaven
www.stormskies.com
Karen, thank you. That was beautifully written. I thought I would have something to add, but I kept reading and you pretty much covered it.

This was the cover of The Batesville Daily Guard yesterday. I assume it's okay to post this photo, since credit is given. This is a captured video still taken by Chris Williams from Lunerburg, AR, which is sw of Sage & Zion, at 6:20 Tuesday. I believe he was about 5 miles from the tornado when he got his video (KAIT-8 Jonesboro is attempting to track down the video today -- if/when they do, I am sure it will be available online). I was about 2 miles away when I saw it; at that time it had more of a stove-pipe look to the base, with the wedge shape on the sides. Judging by the damage at the place where I saw it, I think it may have been lifting slightly at that time. The damage at this area was through heavy forest, and the tops are now sheared out of the trees for a good ways, and probably 1/4 mile wide.

EDIT: I forgot to say that this was captured during a lightning flash; he had back-lighting at the time, and there was more daylight at 6:20 than when I saw it at around 6:35.
Heidi,

This is a spectacular image. I would like to research more about it. I'm stunned at the abundant daylight this far northeast of Clinton on the evening of Feb. 5th. What else does that newspaper article say with respect to the location of this photograph/video still? I cannot locate Lunerburg AR, but I HAVE found Lunenburg AR - which is SSW of Melbourne AR and I am assuming that this is the correct place. Perhaps you could fill me in? Did the photographer give any other details? Time? I thought the tornado was hitting Clinton right at dusk - and Lunenburg has to be at least 20 miles NE of Clinton.

This image is absolutely amazing - I'm surprised that I haven't seen it before now. I am sure that it will be distributed wider and wider once it receives publicity. Somebody HAS to get their hands on that video.

KL
 
Fantastic point that I don't think is being considered by many (myself included).I didn't think about the fact that many people were probably watching cable news networks that night either. As you noted, it would have been interesting to have seen the number of casualties if the outbreak had occurred the day before or the day after Super Tuesday. Even this, though, continues to harken on the need for people to own weather radios! In many rural areas, I can only assume that outdoor warning sirens are not common, which further yet supports the necessity of a weather radio (and, possibly, more reverse 911 systems).

Do you (or other members) know how some of the local TV stations handled the severe weather risk the day before? I wonder if many of them mentioned it on their nightly news. I would certainly hope it would have been mentioned as a "pay attn to the weather!" day given the MDT risk in place on the Day 2 outlook. I watched CNN and MSNBC most of the Tuesday evening and night, but they didn't start to give much (if any) attn to the outbreak until ~10 pm.
Thanks Jeff! I live in the metro Atlanta, GA area.....even though this area was never highlighted in a moderate or high risk area by SPC, both evening newscasts I watched on Monday mentioned the possibility of damaging storms in this area late Tuesday night or Wednesday. Several friends are meteorologists in northern Alabama; I know they were very concerned about the possibility of damaging tornadoes occurring in their viewing areas during the overnight hours (Huntsville-Decatur; Birmingham), and related this concern to their viewing audience.
 
Dec 4, 2003
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This is a warning:

Any further discussion or reaction to the controversial remark that appeared several pages back is prohibited and will result in administrative action. Our rules specifically prohibit users from using the forums to impose their own personal standards on other users. This kind of thing not only starts flame wars but derails the topic and regurgitates the controversy. Discussing it in Stormtrack Community is not a solution as it still violates the rules.

If you don't like what someone says, contact a moderator privately and forget about it. If you don't like a person's comments, you have an Ignore List in your User Control Panel. Use it. There's plenty of other great points here to discuss. We do not look favorably on controversial posts and don't let them go unnoticed, but on the same token we are not going to spend our time deleting everything that can be construed as insensitive.

Discussion of the socioeconomic factors is fine, but keep it on topic and leave matters of someone else's taste or sensitivity to the staff.

Tim
 
Jeff and Perry,
Good point on the political coverage and cable networks. I have often wondered why the cable companies do not find a way of broadcasting some type of warning, tone or otherwise, to advise people to tune to their local stations for more info. I am sure the technology is there.
This issue came up on WX-Chase as well, so I will paste in a post I made there about this issue:

"Not sure how widespread this is, but in our area the cable systems can break in
on all cable channels to give storm warnings and other emergency information.
They have "required tests" on a regular basis. I thought this was mandated
nationwide now, but maybe not. I do know this system exists at least in
southwest Illinois and northern New Mexico, as I have seen these periodic tests
in both of these areas, but I am not sure whether or not it exists everywhere.
Thought it did, but maybe not."

Since I made that post there was a response saying the capability exists many places but is inconsistently applied. So maybe what is needed is consistent nationwide application. Clearly, the technology is there.
 
Dec 8, 2003
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Grand Forks, ND
www.ontheplains.com
Whoah whaoh guys. Settle down. No where did I stereotype in my post. Heck, I'd be the pot calling the kettle black considering I spent half my childhood in North Carolina and South Carolina and still have family in NC. I think you need to reread the last couple sentences of my post (as Kiel seemed to get my point sufficiently).

What does one have to do to convince people in these states that late winter/early spring is "showtime" for tornadoes? Although we can certainly improve our understanding of QLCS tornadoes and improve POD/FAR for tornado warnings in general, one can't help but think the problem is more sociological rather than meteorological.
I absolutely realize that some deaths are not preventable, even given people take adequate shelter. THAT SAID, I know for certain at least some (maybe a majority) of them were. In addition, death rates for even strong tornadoes is pretty low (see the Union University campus). What it comes down to is educating the public on the dangers of tornadoes (when, where, etc.) AND the limits of our present warning making skill. Heck, I think many of you touched on that after I implied it with my sociological comment.

I could list pages of quotes from people interviewed that demonstrate we have work to do. I also plenty of quotes from people that attempted "natural selection" and lived to tell about it.

BTW: I stand by my description as being natural selection (but please note I didn't mean for this to be a blanket description). If there is a legitimate threat on your life, wouldn't you take precautions? It's no different than people killed in small accidents because they didn't strap their seatbelt on. If I were to move to California, the first thing I would do is learn about earthquakes/wildfires.

As a side, this has nothing to do with the south although Brett made a good list of reasons of why the south probably feels the biggest hurt. Last summer we had an EF-4 tornado in my county. One person was killed. This person was in a mobile home. His wife heard the warning and sought shelter (outside of the park) with friends. Her husband was stubborn and stayed behind with the "it won't happen here" mentality. Unfortunately, he paid for his decision with his life.

My apologies to those that took offense. Obviously I feel bad for those that lost loved ones. That said, it frustrates me when we do almost a perfect job meteorologically and yet we still end up with high death tolls.
 
Dec 4, 2003
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For the record, Aaron posted that response within minutes of my own post preventing further discussion of the controversy, so we are going to let it stand. No more comments about it please except between each other in PM.

Tim
 
Apr 2, 2005
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Norman, OK
www.chasetolive.com
Deaths in well-anticipated tornado outbreaks are frustrating, but I think they're almost unavoidable. Most of us watch the weather 24/7, but how many have had to make a life or death decision regarding a tornado after dark? I haven't, and I hope I never do.

Lots of factors contribute to someone being injured/killed, ranging from their awareness/weather experience, available shelter, available escape routes, visibility, time of day/season, and part of the country (how that impacts construction, weather awareness, etc.). It's difficult to say which of these plays the biggest role in any particular situation, and we can't ask someone who's no longer with us.

I seem to recall that the 3 May 99 tornado in the OKC area damaged/destroyed ~10,000 structures, and about 30,000 people resided within the damage path. Roughly 30 fatalities converts to 0.1% death rate in a large, violent tornado. Awareness was pretty high, it was before dark, and storm motion (~25 kt) allowed more time to react. Still, 30 lives were lost. To totally avoid deaths, we'd need to have everyone in the F2+ damage areas leave prior to the tornado, but we don't know those *exact* areas even seconds prior to the tornado! So, we'd have to evacuate 5 to 10 times (just a guess) the number of people that would be impacted, or *everyone* needs underground or reinforced shelter. The latter suggestion is the only thing I see as possible, *if* such structures were required and/or subsidized. That still doesn't account for folks on the road. All in all, it's surprising that *only* 30 people died.

I can understand the feeling of helplessness or frustration. I watched the radar images Tuesday evening and figured there was no way there wouldn't be fatalities. But what else can be done, aside from continuing to work with people to convey the threats?

Rich T.
 
May 22, 2007
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Amarillo, Texas
I wanted to address a few of the questions that Jeff posed...

From a SOCIOLOGICAL perspective, though, the question is how the warnings were received, and what people did when they received them.
From my prospective, having lived in both Oklahoma and Tennessee, I can say that the method at which warnings are received is quite different. The media in Oklahoma is substantially more aggressive with their coverage. Live images of the actual tornado during severe weather coverage are much less frequent in the Nashville market, for example. This is due to the fact that it is much more difficult for the local media to obtain these images due to terrain, convective mode, and frequency of nighttime tornadoes, much the same that it is difficult for chasers to have a successful chase in that area.

The ability for people to actually see the tornado live from Ranger 9, or KFOR’s tower-cam is a big factor, most likely. Psychologically speaking, seeing a large and violent wedge tornado does more than a scientific explanation from the local television met as to why there is an oddly shaped polygon over your county.

What did people do when they heard the sirens?
The population distribution in Tennessee is much different than in Oklahoma. Tennessee could still largely be considered rural, with large population centers such as Memphis and Nashville analogous to Oklahoma City and Tulsa. However, the population distribution differences lie outside of these major metropolitan areas. In Oklahoma, a rural county usually has most of its population concentration very near its county seat, with outlying portions of the county being rather rural farmland. In Tennessee, this is not necessarily the case. Population of a rural county is often scattered throughout the entire county with somewhat more concentration of population near the county seats.



Notice in the above image from Google that 5-20 acre tracks with a modest ranch home (and, yes, in some cases a mobile home), are common. This makes tornado sirens much less effective than in Oklahoma.

Also, notice the west-southwest to east-northeast oriented road. Tennessee roads are not on a grid as they are in Oklahoma. There's more opportunity for a tornado to parallel a road with a concentration of population in Tennessee than Oklahoma, if you consider the typical direction that many tornadoes travel.

How many of the deaths occurred when people went outside to try to "find" the tornado?
This certainly could have been a factor that contributed to the number of deaths. However, you can argue that people in the South have accepted that they wouldn’t be able to see it and thus opt to take shelter rather than stepping outside for a glimpse.

If we are talking about mobile home parks, how many people took shelter at the home parks' tornado shelters (if they had shelters)?
Tornado shelters in mobile home parks are undoubtedly a big issue. This is something that Dr. Doswell has commented on extensively in many of his presentations. It remains to be seen how much of a factor this was in Tuesday’s event. But, at this point it doesn’t appear that large number of deaths occurred due to folks remaining in their mobile homes as was the case on November 6th 2005 in Evansville, Indiana.
 
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Nov 5, 2007
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Birmingham, AL.
I read in the newspaper today where the Governor of Alabama was reporting that there are numerous rural locations throughout Alabama and other states that are still without weather warning sirens and that not everyone can afford to purchase weather radios. <(paraphrased) This is obviously true here and throughout numerous other areas throughout the U.S. As has been mentioned before, not everyone has the enthusiasm we do about severe weather and not everyone, sadly, can see it appropriate or feasible to be able to afford to spend the money on weather warning devices.
Warnings and education obviously play a large part in the overall picture of helping to eliminate some of the deaths and injuries. Maybe through our work, some type of charitable work sometime down the road, and some of our other efforts, we can all play a part in helping to save some of these lives that are lost each year.
 
Sep 7, 2005
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Ozark, AR
www.brianemfinger.com
from NWS Little Rock today:

A MEMBER OF THE QUICK RESPONSE TEAM WAS IN ARKANSAS TODAY TO
EVALUATE DAMAGE FROM ATKINS TO CLINTON...MOUNTAIN VIEW...AND
HIGHLAND. A SINGLE TORNADO MAY HAVE TRACKED THROUGH THESE
AREAS...WITH THE TORNADO GIVEN AN INITIAL RATING OF AT LEAST EF3.
THE RATING HAS BEEN UPGRADED TO EF4.
 

Kevin Ash

EF0
Mar 26, 2005
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Columbia, SC
Here is a 28 second video clip from Izard County, AR. The picture posted earlier from the newspaper is a capture from 14 seconds into this video. You also get a good glimpse of the tornado again near the end at 25 seconds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEVmCvA6ujc

Also found some video from Oxford, MS that shows some great structure and some close lightning strikes. Be warned that if you have kids around or are offended by bad language you'll want to turn the sound down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3LVeCqEtRA
 
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Sep 26, 2007
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I cannot locate Lunerburg AR, but I HAVE found Lunenburg AR - which is SSW of Melbourne AR and I am assuming that this is the correct place. Perhaps you could fill me in?
I've talked to Karen about this already, but in case anyone else was wondering: On my DeLorme topo map it says Lunerburg. On the Batesville Daily Guard it says Lunenburg. I trusted DeLorme, because, well, I've read the local newspapers in the past and have come to expect typos and misprints! ;):)
 

jladue

EF1
Sep 1, 2005
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norman, ok
towerofstorms.net
I'm writing this post in regards to the comments about whether anything can be done to mitigate deaths in tornadoes amongst residents living in less than fortress buildings. I've surveyed a number of tornadoes in the southeast US and in the Plain states. Honestly the only difference I've seen is that the southeast US tornadoes typically occurred at night and were fast moving leaving someone with little recourse but to 'ride it out'. The demographics were similar for where people lived. A lot of people live in modular homes in both regions.

So the question I ask is how much can a homeowner do to make his/her structure more survivable? I really don't know the answer to this question because there are so few studies available.

Recent code changes in hurricane zones require mobile homes to have more frequent anchorings (I think 4' on center) and straps around the metal frames. The Lady Lakes tornadoes took everything above the frames of these new mobile homes. IOW, the next weakness of the mobile homes was exploited by the tornadoes: the cheaply connected stud walls.

I'm sure the better anchored frames may have allowed lives to be saved. Any homeowner who anchors his/her frame better takes one step up the ladder of survivability. But if everything's taken off above the frame, survivability is not likely to be very good. However, I've documented damaged mobile homes reduced to one wall where the occupants survived because of that wall. I'm more confident that it may not take much to allow at least one wall standing. What if the same homeowner who beefed up the frame anchoring added clips to the mobile home load path? Clips cost a single $. Add 150 of them and ideally you could get a big boost in survivability for relatively little cost. Now it's not always that simple to retrofit because you have to get behind the walls but I think the idea has been made.

Even with $150 worth of clips installed and a well anchored frame, a mobile home isn't going to be the fortress a concrete house may be but it could give you two steps up the ladder of survivability. Maybe more walls would be left behind. For someone barely able to make ends meet, perhaps $150 and a little sweat equity isn't so daunting.

Jim
 

Kevin Statler2

60 dead now apparently,according to SPC. Another death from the jackson county,al EF4. Its only Feb folks,and so far this year 66 deaths..
 
Nov 23, 2005
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San Antonio, TX
chaseday.com
Brandon,I believe the national false alarm rate for tornado warnings is ~75% for counties. I've only seen statistics for Jackson MS for one year several years back, when 11 tornadoes occurred and 99 warnings were issued (these numbers might be off a little). The JAN probability of detection was 100%, but the false alarm rate was 89%. Or, only 11% of their tornado warnings were accompanied by a tornado report somewhere in the county. We'll have to see how that changes with the polygon warnings.Rich T.
Hi Rich, calling it a false alarm rate (FAR) to me is inaccurate, at least with the respect to the Dopper radar. The reason, the Doppler detects mesocycones not tornadoes, that's always been its job and in that respect it has a very high success rate. Unfortunately when the original project was lobbied it was being sold for wind shear, correct. That was justified off Fujita's original work concerning aircraft safety, down bursts and commercial planes falling out of the sky. It wasn't just about saving lives, it was about general trust from the public about commercial flying. Of course now we have on board radar in the expensive aircraft. Voices started saying these Dopplers will protect us against tornadoes....I remember certain people trying to tell the truth, but they were drowned out. Thus the billions of dollars was spent to upgrade the most populated areas of the nation first, finally getting down to isolated areas like Goodland. In the rare cases when we do see a tornado on the end of the hook what we are actually seeing is the debris ball; again much larger than the typical tornado. Even with the new and more powerful radars coming on line how does one see a 100-150 meter wide event at 65 miles distant. That is pretty much what we are asking that piece of equipment to do. Frankly I don't think it's possible even before we consider (a) curvature of the earth and (b) the +.05 degree tilt for environmental safety. With respect to the Doppler seeing the mesocyclone, we know that's accurate and as chasers we can verify it's rotating. For example, how many times have you sat on a rotating mesocyclone for 1-2 hours before that supercell produced a tornado. Remember the Hill City event last season? The supercell sat in that area for how many hours before it finally produced a condensation funnel to ground, at least four, would that be a fair assessment? Meanwhile, the Goodland Doppler sees a potentially tornadic mesocyclone the whole time and warning after warning is issued, most counting as false alarms. I wish the public understood the relationship between what the radar is doing (correctly) vs true tornadogenesis. Armchair chasing on Feb 5th I watched a lone supercell take over from a cluster in far NE LA, it was the first supercell of the day. It move into SE AR and immediately spun up a strong meso. In fact it had meso signatures early on and base reflectivity showed a classic supercell configuration. Yet that storm as threatening as it was traveled for at least 100+ miles I bet, before starting to produce real tornadoes. As it moved north other cells formed and trained that supercell finally moving into the Memphis-western TN region. It was there when they really let loose with tornado after tornado. To not put the warning on such a cell early would be tantamount to duplicating the infamous Fort Smith event where hours of warnings were issued prior to the destruction in that city...with no warning. Some supercells produce tornadoes within 30-45 minutes, others wait hours, but in the end the tornadoes are just as strong.
 

rdale

EF5
Mar 1, 2004
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Lansing, MI
skywatch.org
Hi Rich, calling it a false alarm rate (FAR) to me is inaccurate, at least with the respect to the Dopper radar. The reason, the Doppler detects mesocycones not tornadoes, that's always been its job and in that respect it has a very high success rate.
But the job of the meteorologist is to take doppler data, combine with other sources, and issue a warning... The FAR ratings are not a rating of 88D algorithms - it's a rating of what the end user gets.

I don't think 88D was sold as a wind shear project - everyone back then felt that a large majority of mesocylclones resulted in tornadoes. I do recall at least 50% being given out - now we realize it's 5%