Officials fear Kansas is complacent about tornado season

Steve Miller

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Jun 14, 2004
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Weather officials in Kansas are worried that the state's lack of tornadoes last year will make citizens complacent going into tornado season this spring.

The Wichita Eagle reports that officials are urging residents to not have a false sense of security since the state saw only 40 tornados last year. Kansas has averaged 100 tornados a year for the last decade and 80 tornados per year over the last 30 years.

AccuWeather vice president Mike Smith (GO MIKE!) said at a storm chaser convention in Denver that he sees troubling similarities between this winter's weather and 2011, which produced an outbreak of tornados in the Deep South, including the one that hit Joplin, MO.

Nationwide, the number of tornados dropped 30 percent last year from 1,253 to 888, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Original article.
 

James Gustina

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Mar 9, 2010
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The same thing likely will also apply to Oklahoma as well. Its the first time I can think of that a weather radio stand in a store was completely full going into March since I've been out here (which may mean nothing). There were a grand total of I think 9 or 10 tornadoes in the state and it's already got people talking about how that'll be the norm for the future. It's hard to remove complacency as Moore, Shawnee and El Reno become more and more distant memories for the average person. The next major outbreak we have across the central and southern Plains will probably take a lot of the general public by surprise.
 

rdale

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Mar 1, 2004
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I'm not sure I ever understand these "false sense of security" articles, whether dealing with tornado or extreme heat/cold or hurricanes etc... I find it hard to believe that if the TV weather guy in Wichita comes on air and shows an EF3 ripping up the countryside west of town moving east, that someone says "Well we didn't have any tornado watches last year, so I'm going to sit this one out."

And AccuWeather's success rate at seasonal tornado prediction should give us a clue that we're in for a dud storm season again :)
 
Mar 23, 2013
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Denver, CO
you can lead the horses to water...but you cant make them drink.

Some people just have to learn the hard way. Some people dont give storms merit till they see them with their own eyes.

And sometimes...natural selection is just a good thing.

Life, fate and Mother Nature all contribute to the cycles of weather and life and death on this planet. It's just the natural order of things.
 
May 18, 2012
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Gaines, MI
Agree with everyone here.... Some will learn the hard way, and many will probably be taken by surprise. But really, when you average 100 TORs a year?? How do people become complacent in a place that sees so many? I understand the crowd that says "we have warnings all the time and nothing happens," or "I live (here or there) and tornadoes never occur (here or there)" because I live in a place like that. I thought the studies done after the April 27th, 2011 Outbreak in Dixie Alley and the Joplin storm showed us that we all (media, broadcast and operational meteorolgist, EMAs, other local officials, etc) need to do a better job of getting a more pointed message out to the public, whenever and wherever possible. In the end I guess some will get it, and some won't..
 
Feb 21, 2012
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Wichita, KS
you can lead the horses to water...but you cant make them drink.
And sometimes...natural selection is just a good thing.
Says the person who loves to chase them! Great point! So I'd imagine you believe Tim, Carl, and Paul were just victims of "natural selection"? We should just let everyone die because that's what they deserve! Geez people get a grip. I'm gonna stop typing now before I break some rules.
 
Oct 25, 2004
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Tucson, Arizona
I cannot fathom experiencing one season with a below-average tornado tally anywhere in the alley as having any effect whatsoever on a population's attitude towards tornado readiness. Perhaps if there was an entire decade of far-below average totals, a slackening might begin to prevail. Oklahoma has had below-normal tornado counts the past several years.....has anybody witnessed a change in it's citizen's attitudes when tornado watches and warnings have been implemented?
 

calvinkaskey

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Feb 17, 2014
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It seems hard to phathom that people in Kansas forget so quickly. When the Weather Channel shows potential disaster from hurricanes and the lack of awareness they deal in decades not years. TWC warned about New Orleans and NYC long before they happened along with Galveston area I think. I think people in the Southeast constantly need to be reminded about severe weather because they think that GOD has their back.