Published on October 7, 2007
Slide1: The Evolution of Severe Weather Technologies Severe Weather Can Come in the Form of Severe Thunderstorms...: Severe Weather Can Come in the Form of Severe Thunderstorms... Tornadoes...: Tornadoes... Floods and much more...: Floods and much more... The Motivation: The Motivation Slide8: Overview Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak of 1920 Forecasting methodologies and existing technologies Relevant Technologies that develop over the next 35 years Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak of 1965 Forecasting methodologies and existing technologies Relevant Technologies that develop over the next 29 years Overview Continued...: Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak of 1994 Forecasting methodologies and existing technologies How to Read a Weather Radar Overview Continued... Palm Sunday Outbreak of 1920: Palm Sunday Outbreak of 1920 March 28, 1920 38 tornadoes devastated the Midwest and deep South states of the U.S. 380 people were killed 1,215 people were injured Death tolls potentially inaccurate Lack of knowledge State protocol excluded non-whites Forecasting Methodologies in 1920: Forecasting Methodologies in 1920 The first public radio station did not broadcast until Nov. 2, 1920 The word “forecast” was not used until 1966 The word “tornado”was strictly forbidden in public statement No television or computers to run forecast models Forecasting maps hand drawn at end of day and catalogued. Average Warning Time: 0 minutes Slide12: Weather Map: Prevailing Winds, Dec. 1920 Relevant Technologies That Develop Over the Next 35 Years: Relevant Technologies That Develop Over the Next 35 Years Over next 35 years televisions, telephones and radios became common. 1950s: Digital computers arrived 1960s: Computer modelers make somewhat accurate forecasts 1962: National Severe Storms Project began a radar lab: WSR-57 radar 1964: 3-cm Research Doppler Radar First Palm Sunday Outbreak Second Palm Sunday Outbreak WSR - 57: WSR - 57 Slowly rotating antennae that put out small bursts of energy in a beam Energy was reflected back to the antennae when contact with particles was made. Larger particle = More energy Strength of energy displayed on a contour black and white display Hurricane Carla 1962 Tornado located near Kaplan, LA Slide15: Palm Sunday Outbreak of 1965 April 11, 1965 78 tornadoes hit the Midwest Second biggest outbreak on record 271 killed and 1,500 injured Slide16: Forecasting Methodologies in 1965 Radar stations located sporadically throughout the country The tornadoes were detected on radar and warnings were issued General public never received warnings Motivated the Tornado Watch and Warning System Slide17: Relevant Technologies That Develop Over the Next 29 Years 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 1969: 10 – cm Radar (Data analyzed on magnetic tape) 1973: Storm team able to document life cycle of a tornado 1974: Dual Doppler Radar or Cimarron Radar 1985: Cimarron adopted Dual Polarization Capabilities First Palm Sunday Outbreak Second Palm Sunday Outbreak Third Palm Sunday Outbreak Slide18: Palm Sunday Outbreak of 1994 March 27, 1994 26 tornadoes in Alabama and Georgia 42 people killed and 320 injured F4 hit AL Goshen United Methodist killing 20 and injuring 90 Damage estimated to be $107 million Forecasting Methodologies in 1994: Forecasting Methodologies in 1994 Communication not a problem Prediction not a problem Average warning time: 15 minutes Problem: Lack of tornado sirens and weather radios How to Read a Weather Map: How to Read a Weather Map Slide21: Yellow boxes indicate Severe Thunderstorm Warning Dark Red indicates heavy rain, high winds and lightening. Potential of becoming severe. Yellow indicates dense rain, thunder and possible lightening. Green indicates light to moderate rainfall. Slide22: Pink Center indicates hail Hook Echo indicates funnel cloud Red Box indicates tornado warning Slide23: Myths Dispelled Tornadoes CAN AND DO occur at night! Tornadoes DO NOT jump over houses! Tornadoes CAN cross streams! An underpass is NEVER a good place to hide from tornadoes!