2011-04-27 MISC: AL,TN,MS,KY,OH,IN,WV,GA

E. Clark

EF0
Mar 18, 2010
48
0
5
Currently - Tahoe area
I watched that video from the University Student this morning - and others.

I have just heard my umpteenth report from survivors - in or from public buildings and large store/malls - who 'had no idea what was going on'. England, (from the video) included. I watched the cam and heard sirens from nearby chase vehicles - I know that outdoor warning sirens were going off up to 12 minutes before that bastard hit the outskirts of Tuscaloosa. And Birmingham had up to 20-25 minute warning.

I AM PISSED.

We have spent TRILLIONS in taxpayer dollars to pay people to feel up our grannies, wives and 6 year olds at the airport but WE DON'T HAVE INTERNAL EBS IN OUR PUBLIC BUILDINGS? NOTHING? Warning sirens are not loud enough to penetrate to internal offices in large buildings?

Are you #ing kidding me??

More people have died in weather related disasters in the past 3 years than we EVER lost to attacks- and despite the trillions spent to 'keep everyone safe' they have done NOTHING to remediate the real dangers. And now they are cutting budgets on the institutions that do keep people alive every single day. I think a system like the Japanese have where there are sirens and spoken warnings - and to have any building- store, office, etc that holds more than 20 people have speakers installed connected to this system. It would not be any harder than wiring for internet or wifi.

And it is past time our power lines were all underground. Instead of repairing them in place over and over and over- they need to just run them underground.
 
True... much better data to be collected here. Though, I wonder what sort of advancements we can really make off of this information.... I can't imagine the handling of this situation being much better. The was recognized from the get go as an extremely volatile and dangerous situation. The watches and the wording pre-storm initiation reflected this. (I've never seen a 95%/95%) Media coverage was giant -- weather channel and local. Storms had huge lead times warning wise.

I feel as though we're nearing a point in meteorology where we can't better most warn times. The greatest gains in human safety are going to be advancements in engineering of homes -- really, great engineering exists, it's just not common enough -- and in actually human observance of severe weather. Basically... people taking note of the information that is at their disposal. This will save more lives than anything.
I'm not sure what it is going to take to get people to heed the warnings. I watched an interview earlier on CNN that had me floored. Gentleman stated it was a complete surprise and they had no warning in Tuscaloosa. Really? The reporter let it drop after he said that but the person in the studio made him ask if the tornado sirens were not going off. The gentleman stated they were but figured it was just for another severe thunderstorm. So while you can issue warnings and even broadcast the tornado live on the air (such as in Tuscaloosa) people are still going to ignore those warnings and go on with their daily lives. So when a deadly, extemely violent tornado comes screaming into their neighborhood, they are surprised and had no warning. Go figure.
 

tarone

I admit I was a bit shocked hearing the newsman just prior to the touchdown in Tuscaloosa say that people in cars should get under an underpass.

Regarding warnings inside buildings, I don't know what the procedures are everywhere, in N. Texas (where my father lives) they receive an automated phone call by the fire dept. warning them of a dangerous storms approach.
 

rdale

EF5
Mar 1, 2004
7,493
1,059
21
52
Lansing, MI
skywatch.org
We have spent TRILLIONS in taxpayer dollars to pay people to feel up our grannies, wives and 6 year olds at the airport but WE DON'T HAVE INTERNAL EBS IN OUR PUBLIC BUILDINGS? NOTHING? Warning sirens are not loud enough to penetrate to internal offices in large buildings?
I shouldn't be paying for that. The users/owners of the building should be. If it was important enough for those survivors, they would have taken the initiative on their own.

Also remember than 70% of all warnings do not verify, and even out of the ones that do they only impact 1% of the target audience. So a LARGE majority of the time, this internal EBS is going to alert you to something that doesn't occur. Won't take too long before those wires get snipped ;)

And it is past time our power lines were all underground. Instead of repairing them in place over and over and over- they need to just run them underground.
That costs a LOT more money. Is the electric company going to eat that? Should I subsidize your electric bill? Or should you pay for underground if you want underground?
 
Jan 27, 2010
278
12
11
Fort Worth, TX
Regarding warnings inside buildings, I don't know what the procedures are everywhere, in N. Texas (where my father lives) they receive an automated phone call by the fire dept. warning them of a dangerous storms approach.
This is called Storm Ready (at least in our community) and requires that said citizen sign up to receive these calls. Most people do not, so its effectiveness is low at this point.
 
Jan 28, 2009
119
0
6
Conrad, Iowa
I'm not sure what it is going to take to get people to heed the warnings. I watched an interview earlier on CNN that had me floored. Gentleman stated it was a complete surprise and they had no warning in Tuscaloosa. Really? The reporter let it drop after he said that but the person in the studio made him ask if the tornado sirens were not going off. The gentleman stated they were but figured it was just for another severe thunderstorm. So while you can issue warnings and even broadcast the tornado live on the air (such as in Tuscaloosa) people are still going to ignore those warnings and go on with their daily lives. So when a deadly, extemely violent tornado comes screaming into their neighborhood, they are surprised and had no warning. Go figure.
Some people are simply oblivious to the world around them, even in a life threatening situation.
 

rdale

EF5
Mar 1, 2004
7,493
1,059
21
52
Lansing, MI
skywatch.org
Automated phone callouts for tornadoes won't work in a city. That's good for small towns or long lead alerts (i.e. Flood Watch, Blizzard Warning, etc.) Technology doesn't let you call 300,000 city residents in a minute.
 

John Farley

Supporter
Apr 1, 2004
1,666
971
21
Pagosa Springs, CO
www.johnefarley.com
Some places do have internal warning systems. The university where I taught for 29 years, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, has sirens inside the buildings as well as outside. So it can be done and is being done some places. But no warning system will necessarily save you, even if you do heed it, if you live in a mobile home court with no shelter or in a house with no basement, if the tornado is as violent as some of these appear to have been.

Jon Davies has made a post suggesting that this outbreak is now in the top ten on record in terms of fatalities, and also addressing some of the issues, beyond timely warnings, that affect fatalities in tornadoes:

http://davieswx.blogspot.com/2011/04/27-april-2011-tornado-outbreak-stunning.html
 
Apr 16, 2010
274
1
0
Omaha, NE
I'd say NWS/media has done their job excellently. It's very depressing to see houses reduced to matchsticks and it's not even May yet. The only change I see is to construct homes differently.
 

Trey Thee

EF2
Mar 29, 2010
191
29
11
Tulsa metro
Ah, yeah, predicting initiation from a space and time standpoint, agree we could possibly improve that a good deal. Honestly wonder how far we'll be able to get there -- I haven't put the time and research in -- but something to shoot for.
No clue how far we will be able to get...but we're doing things today, producing predictions, radar images, etc that are far more advanced then what we had 5 and 10 years ago. 20 or 30 years ago, what we're doing today was probably unimaginable. I think despite the tragic outcome, we will have some tremendous good come out of this outbreak that could lead to more lives saved down the road.

As for people not taking it seriously? You'll always have people like that...as Ron White says "you can't fix stupid".
 

E. Clark

EF0
Mar 18, 2010
48
0
5
Currently - Tahoe area
I'm not sure what it is going to take to get people to heed the warnings. I watched an interview earlier on CNN that had me floored. Gentleman stated it was a complete surprise and they had no warning in Tuscaloosa. Really? The reporter let it drop after he said that but the person in the studio made him ask if the tornado sirens were not going off. The gentleman stated they were but figured it was just for another severe thunderstorm. So while you can issue warnings and even broadcast the tornado live on the air (such as in Tuscaloosa) people are still going to ignore those warnings and go on with their daily lives. So when a deadly, extemely violent tornado comes screaming into their neighborhood, they are surprised and had no warning. Go figure.
Watching the Tsunami in Japan I was stunned at the verbal warnings that were blaring out over the cities. This is why I said just a siren is not going to do it. A very loud, verbal "Tornado on the ground in (name of town/city)!! Take Cover!!" repeated in between the siren wails would make a much bigger and more personalized impression on people than just 'another siren going off'.
 

E. Clark

EF0
Mar 18, 2010
48
0
5
Currently - Tahoe area
And yes- I think the met did a heroic job today. Some of these guys need medals. I was screaming inside for people to take cover watching the live reports and feeds. In Alabama especially they were right on top of every sig.
 

Drew.Gardonia

That would confirm the report that noaa radios weren't functioning during the peak of the outbreak.
that doesn't make any sense to me, because I was still getting alerts on my scanner, maybe they were just being tasked by another NWS office?
 
Jun 21, 2004
1,528
33
11
Kearney, NE
bigstormpicture.com
I think Japan has the best solution - a multifaceted approach. Every cellphone gets a text during an emergency. Each commercial building has a system of speakers installed through which emergency info is piped. Each town has a network of sirens and the sirens have real humans reading out emergency info after the initial warning blast.
 

Trey Thee

EF2
Mar 29, 2010
191
29
11
Tulsa metro
How about 'In the Area'? I mean, the recording can say anything according to the situation. But I agree with the Japanese that a verbal is much more effective.
You say that would be effective and 50 years ago the sirens were effective. Eventually people become complacent. In an area that sees severe weather every year, some people will refuse to pay attention and refuse to accept responsibility for their action (or in this case inaction). Verbal warnings would be effective the first few years. Then, just like the siren, there will be a percentage of the population that pays no attention to anything of significant value and or consequence.

I just read an article on my lunch break, numerous people interviewed..."It was calm the day before, we knew it might storm but it storms a lot around here, we had no clue this would happen". Despite the fact that all the local mets, the SPC and the NWS were talking about this on Monday and really talking it up Tuesday night.
 
Mar 10, 2010
116
0
0
Parsons, Kansas
I've had an idea for over a year now of creating a public activated warning system, that is supplemented by the pros. Basically folks would text Tornado to 911. If enough triggers are sent to the local 911 center a mass texting & social media message is sent out to people in the geographic area(size to be determined)... "Tornado spoted by X number of your neighbors please be aware and seek shelter". The system can be calibrated to the point where false alarms are a rare occurence. Reports can be tracked by the cell the signal came from and a tornado could be triangulated in seconds, then warning messages could be sent out to all users in a certain area of the reports. It would sort of take a life of its own and could almost go on unmonitored. The same system could be used by the NWS. But to work it could only be used in tor warning situations. OTherwise it would become noise to most folks.

Similiar methods are being researched to report accidents and terrorist attacks. like many have said when major class Tornados are on the ground generally the NWS gets the warnings out fast... the problem is getting them to the people. In most towns the warning systems are pretty much a joke, particularly small towns. They are either overused, undermaintained, or run by morans.
 

jeremy wilson

I think I've seen many instances of EF5 damage now. Of course I could be wrong. Example of me being wrong: I was in Tushka and Mapleton when it hit those places. I assumed low end EF3 damage in Mapleton and was right. In Tushka the damage seemed much worse as there were many cars tossed, clean foundations and two story brick buildings basically destroyed. I assumed high end EF4 there and was way off. So who knows what kinda damage I'm seeing and guessing at. I wish we could get a Tim Marshal opinion.
 

Drew.Gardonia

I just read an article on my lunch break, numerous people interviewed..."It was calm the day before, we knew it might storm but it storms a lot around here, we had no clue this would happen". Despite the fact that all the local mets, the SPC and the NWS were talking about this on Monday and really talking it up Tuesday night.
here's a reason I hate the Weather Channel....when the SPC puts out notices like yesterday's PDS, they hardly mention anything along the same lines. They never use the words Tornado Outbreak, all they say is "potential for severe weather". Most people watch the Weather Channel, and unfortunately, all that channel is, is a ridiculous joke of an excuse for a weather reporting station.

I think the NWS needs to begin regulation over all civilian/corporate weather agencies both on tv, radio and internet, so that the Warnings, Watches, and Severe Weather Outbreak Outlooks are all UNIFORM and the SAME. that way there is no confusion, and people won't be able to say "we really had no clue this would happen".

In addition to be a meteorologists, they should have to go through some courses given by the NWS and become certified (kinda like with Microsoft) to NWS standards. It won't mean they can't make their own forecasts still, but they should still have to summarize NWS Convective Outlooks for potential for severe weather outbreaks.

Civilian/Corporate Meteorology has become very flawed, and Ive known of several tv stations both here in Nashville and back home in Kansas City, who dropped the ball repeatedly during outbreaks (5/4/2003 WDAF-TV Fox News made no mention of severe weather potential, they just said some thunderstorms would hit, when the SPC had issued an outbreak advisory 3 days prior). Nashville stations did the same thing here during the Good Friday tornado, when the SPC issued a Special Weather Statement the night before, but not ONE of those local stations said anything about possible severe weather or tornadoes.
 

Andy Wade

EF0
Feb 9, 2011
29
9
6
Norman
Verbal warning messages and such are great ideas, but the first step absolutely has to be a tremendous Dixie Alley awareness campaign using the images from Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. I had the illusion that Dixie Alley residents were somewhat aware of the high threat of tornadoes in their region, and that their high tornado fatality rate compared to the Plains was due to a higher population density and a tendency for Southern twisters to move quickly and be hidden by rain, darkness, and terrain. Yesterday shattered that perception, as it was a daytime outbreak of non-HP supercells moving at high, but not extreme, speeds. People ignored sirens and were unaware of tornado emergency issuances, and there were reports of Birmingham drivers heading straight into the monster on Interstates. Most frustratingly, there were numerous mobile home fatalities. The NWS offices and the SPC were spot-on yesterday, so clearly there's a disconnect along the intended chain of events that leads from warning issuance to residents finding safe shelter. The only points at which that could happen are warning dissemination and public response to warnings.