92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Forecasts and Warnings for the Historic 2011 Tornadoes: How to Improve Public Response
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
John T. Ferree, NOAA/NWS, Norman, OK

The United States experienced historic levels of tornado activity in 2011. New daily and monthly tornado records were likely established in April. In May, Joplin, Missouri was struck by the deadliest single tornado in over 60 years. Forecasts for these devastating events were provided days in advance. Watch and warning lead times far exceeded national performance goals. Yet, the public response was not always ideal and 2011 may very well see the greatest number of tornado deaths since official record keeping started in 1950. This presentation will explore the nature of these extreme events and share ideas for improving public response and saving lives.

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