Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Crying Tornado!

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- In the wake of the April 27 tornadoes, veteran television meteorologist James Spann is questioning whether too frequent tornado warnings are causing people to ignore them.

Doppler Radar is an amazing thing.  It has the ability to pick up rotation in storm clouds that might lead to the formation of one of Mother Nature's most deadly phenomena, the tornado.

Currently when Doppler senses rotation, a tornado warning is issued for the counties in the storm's path, and tornado sirens warn the public. This spring we've heard the sirens several times, but no tornadoes have touched down in our county.  The problem is this: our warning system cries wolf again and again, and human nature is such that we become complacent... We hear the siren, we play the odds, we turn over in bed, and place our pillow over our ears.

I suggest this:
1)  When a warning is issued, the sirens blare for two minutes, non-stop...  Then they blare for 15 seconds every 10 minutes until the danger is past.
2) If an actual tornado is spotted, the sirens blare non-stop.

I know... It's not a perfect plan.  But it might be more effective than what we have now.



Bekah said...

Can you hear me shouting amen from over here? my WORD. I don't pay attention to our warnings at all now. I know that is gonna get me one day - but it's just hard to get worked up for a siren that sounds every day - multiple times a day...

Malott said...

Miss B,

I remember a few weeks ago when the sirens blared in Greentown... pretty much constantly for a full hour... And the storm front was obviously more than 15 miles away when they started.

I hope the powers that be make some common sense adjustments.

SkyePuppy said...

I can't relate at all. Tornado Alley scares me more than Earthquake Country.

Christina said...

I tend to agree with Skyepuppy. Apparently, you have to be a native of tornado country to feel that way.

I get nervous when the severe weather approaches. I am so appreciative of the sirens because at least I feel like we have some warning.

The biggest problem I see is that we live close to two fire stations. We hear sirens a lot and they sound identical. I always have to stop and make sure that they fade away on stormy days so that I know which siren is which. In the scenario that you propose, I would totally ignore the every intermittent sirens because I'm used to that.

I will never get used to tornados.

Grammy said...

SkyePuppy and Christina...Have you not seen the Wizard of Oz????? There are even bike riding witches swirling around in the middle of tornados. Very serious business.

One of my granddaughters got her arm broken during one of those idle tornado warnings when she was two. The family heard the warning and got up in the middle of the night to go down into their basement where they had a spare bedroom area. To pass the time, the kids were all jumping on the bed and one of them landed on Janie's arm.