152 The 3 April 2012 tornado outbreak: An Analysis of the North Texas Integrated Warning Team

Wednesday, 7 November 2012
Symphony III and Foyer (Loews Vanderbilt Hotel)
Dennis E. Cavanaugh, NOAA/NWSFO, Fort Worth, TX; and M. Huffman, M. Fox, J. E. Trainor, B. Phillips, C. League, C. Little, and R. Miller
Manuscript (1.3 MB)

Handout (1.7 MB)

The 3 April 2012 tornado outbreak across north and northeast Texas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, was one of the largest outbreaks in the region's history, producing 20 tornadoes. Despite impacting over 650 homes and causing an estimated $800 million in total damage, no fatalities and few serious injuries were reported. In an effort to explain why no fatalities occurred in an event of this magnitude, the actions of the North Texas Integrated Warning Team were analyzed. The primary members of the Team are staff from the NWS Fort Worth/Dallas Weather Forecast Office, local emergency managers, representatives of the print and broadcast media, and volunteer weather spotters. Post-event surveys were conducted to evaluate public response during the event. The surveys were designed to: identify the means by which warning information was received; ascertain the most common protective actions taken; and understand the motivation for taking those actions. This study provides evidence that the coordinated actions of the Integrated Warning Team played an important role in achieving a favorable public response. That response, combined with other circumstances, explains why no fatalities and few serious injuries occurred during the 03 April 2012 outbreak. Future analyses will be discussed with the goal of further improving the performance of the North Texas Integrated Warning Team.
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