87th AMS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, 17 January 2007: 4:30 PM
How Severe Storm Reports Are Increasing
205 (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Daniel McCarthy, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/SPC, Norman, OK; and J. T. Schaefer
Currently there are about 13,000 severe thunderstorm gust or wind caused damage reports, 12,000 ¾” or larger (penny sized) and approximately 1300 tornadoes recorded every year. This represents an increase of 20% since the late 1990s and of nearly 70% since the middle 1980s. While NWS modernization, increased training of spotters, increased emphasis on warning verification, and vast improvements in mobile communication technology has as led to much of this increase, both the types of reports and “Storm Data” descriptions of severe thunderstorm wind damage has also changed over this past 20 years.

We will show how severe weather reports have changed, and compare the different types of reports that are made today to those of middle 1980s. Some ideas which will help people receiving severe weather reports from the public understand just what was observed will be discussed.

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