When Tornado Warnings Cry Wolf

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email

People who live in tornado-prone areas of the country are familiar with an often unspoken reality. Too often, tornado warnings are issued and nothing happens and people become complacent the next time. A new report has found that was the reality in Joplin, Missouri on a terrible day last May.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reviewed the warnings that were issued before a monster tornado hit Joplin. It found that initially, many people ignored the sirens before the tornado arrived killing about 160 people.

It is not known if the slow initial response contributed to the death toll. The tornado was so powerful, even people who took shelter were killed.

The report found there is a need for more specific and urgent warnings. NOAA says issuing warnings should be expanded as well -- such as through texting and smart phone apps.

The report praised the forecasting and work of the local weather service in Springfield, Missouri.


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