Public Reaction to National Weather Service Impact Based Warnings and The Effectiveness of Decision Support Services Provided During the June 12, 2014, Abilene, Texas Extreme Wind and Hail Event

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 3:45 PM
229AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Hector Guerrero, NOAA/NWS, San Angelo, TX; and L. Myers, V. Brown, S. Lyons, J. Dunn, and M. Johnson
Manuscript (1.2 MB)

A powerful thunderstorm moved through Abilene, Texas during the June 12, 2014 Children's Art and Literacy Festival and Parade. This “supercell” produced softball-sized hail and damaging winds. Fortunately, and amazingly, only several minor injuries were reported! Thunderstorm damage (mostly to vehicles, homes, and businesses) was estimated at 400 million dollars. At least 200 city vehicles sustained significant damage. Abilene Fire Station #4 was rendered uninhabitable.

In support of a larger National Weather Service (NWS) effort, the San Angelo Texas forecast office is part of an experiment to test Impact Based Warnings (IBW) that are designed to describe expected damage and how serious the weather threat will be “before it happens.” Effectiveness of the IBW text warning that was issued for this event will be assessed by analyzing responses collected via a web-based survey that was designed to collect feedback from local residents who were affected by the damaging wind and hail.

A brief meteorological overview and analysis of radar signatures during the severe storm will be presented. Additionally, we will show an assessment of how effective impact based decision support tools and the integrated warning team (two elements of the National Weather Service Weather Ready Nation [WRN] initiative) were to the warning and communication process for this event.