Thank You National Weather Service, A Step in the Right Direction

I learned from the National Weather Service yesterday that the NWS is going to drop from the April 1 experiment the modification of severe thunderstorm warnings to allow tornadoes to be included. 

The modification would have allowed the sentence, “A tornado is possible.” in severe thunderstorm warnings. This is a step in the right direction and I congratulate and thank the NWS for making this change.

The plan to do three-tiered tornado warnings is still on for the April 1 start for counties served by their offices in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield (MO), Topeka, and Wichita. There is also going to be three-tier severe thunderstorm warnings. I have no objection to those because the science behind them is reasonably well established. 

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2 thoughts on “Thank You National Weather Service, A Step in the Right Direction

  1. Mike,

    I wondered why NWS was going to use the phrase “A tornado is possible” when the phrase “Severe thunderstorms can and often do produce tornadoes with little or no warning” has been around for some time now (and I believe was recently modified with this [paraphrased]: “While a tornado is not imminent, be prepared for rapidly changing conditions”). I’m still not on board with the multi-level tornado warnings but in a way, I do think that this is something they can forecast better in the future (e.g. the lower level warning would be, at best, ‘get somewhere safe and inside’ where as the high level would be ‘be underground to survive this’) although I know the focus is always ‘take shelter’ regardless of the severeity of the tornado.

    Is there a posting by NWS that talks about the criteria for three tier level warnings for severe thunderstorm warnings yet?

    Thanks for your time and I enjoy your blog.


  2. Pete, as far as I can tell there is no press release on the experiment. I don’t know why the NWS is being semi-secret about it.

    The “Wichita Eagle” will have a detailed article this Sunday.