Session 3B.5 Analysis of tornadoes casualties using the census tract tornado path dataset

Monday, 4 October 2004: 5:30 PM
Kevin M. Simmons, Austin College, Sherman, TX; and D. Sutter

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We employ a new census tract level data set to examine the determinants of tornado casualties. The data set has been generated through GIS mapping of tornado paths reported in the Storm Prediction Center’s tornado archive and allows identification of the census tracts along a storm’s path instead of just the counties. A census tract level map of tornado paths improves the geographic detail of storm paths by approximately an order of magnitude and consequently the accuracy of the demographic and economic characteristics of storm paths. We illustrate the improvement in estimation of tornado casualty models using tornadoes in the 1990s in several states in Tornado Alley. The improved resolution of casualty models offers the potential for more exact quantification of the safety effects of improved tornado warnings and WSR-88D radar.
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