A Comment Worth Sharing

This was posted in the comments attached to my posting about last week’s Vilonia, Arkansas, tornado.

Teriann Shrum said…
The pinpoint warning of this horrific storm and it’s 40 minute gateway for warning viewers of it’s arrival is what saved our lives. The image as shown is the Black Oak Ranch Estates community that is 5 miles southwest of Vilonia. Accurate pinpointing of this storm gave us time to seek shelter from it and survive. Out of 120 homes, 16 still stand. We lost 4 members of our community and it could have been many more. THANK YOU for the excellent coverage received from KTHV’s Chief Meteorologist Ed Buckner that saved our lives and the lives of my family! The devastation was “pure hell” for all of us.

Teriann was doing one of the things I hoped would happen when I wrote Warnings: That meteorologists would start to get some of the credit for their lifesaving work. So, way to go Ed!

I also want to mention the incredible work by James Spann in Birmingham during last week’s historic tornado outbreak and the one ten days before.

And, it is not just the TV meteorologists, it is the entire profession that built the technology and discovered the underlying science. Teriann had seen this posting — done the night of the tornado — that showed the tornado before it got to Vilonia. The tornado was moving northeast at 60 mph — a mile a minute — but because of Doppler this non-standard tornado had excellent warning.

Click to enlarge radar images.

Debris ball (left) and Doppler couplet (right) of the violent tornado before it reached Vilonia (circled, at left).

Without this technology and dedication of these meteorologists, the death toll in April would have been in the thousands.

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