4.3 Motivating Protective Action in Advance of Severe Quasi-Linear Convective Systems

Friday, 23 June 2017: 2:00 PM
Salon II (InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza)
Daniel Hawblitzel, NWS, Pleasant Hill, MO

Quasi-linear convective systems (QLCS) can pose significant threats to public safety including strong tornadoes, widespread severe winds and life-threatening flooding. In many cases these tornadoes may occur with little to no lead time, which presents a significant vulnerability to those who need longer warning lead times such as hospitals, large events and mobile home residents. Conventional methods of communicating severe thunderstorm forecasts, which focus mostly on anticipated coverage and magnitude of severe weather, may not adequately convey the unique threats posed by severe QLCS events particularly to those who are most vulnerable. To ensure protective action is taken by those most at risk, users must understand their personal risk as well as the potential consequences of not taking action. Ways of effectively communicating these threats include outlining specific potential impacts to users, identifying those most at risk and providing explicit protective action to be taken. These concepts are applied to communicating anticipated QLCS events, particularly those events which may involve shorter-than-average lead time on tornado warnings.
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