Disaster Averted: Hypothetical Tornado Paths after the El Reno Tornado of 31 May 2013
Using damage surveys, Doppler radar, traffic numbers, and first-hand accounts, the response during the El Reno is documented. Additionally, several hypothetical scenarios are considered to illustrate the potential for catastrophic loss of life. It is noted that – even as “lead time” increases – the non-linear nature of public response may not allow for a monotonic reduction in tornado fatalities (in the absence of communications research). With the advent of warning-improvement programs like “Warn-on-Forecast”, it will become necessary to understand the relationship between weather communication and public response.