North Carolina Testing New Storm Rating System
5/9/2012Storm warnings for hurricanes and tornadoes have not been effective in convincing the public of danger. North Carolina researchers are testing a new rating system for hurricanes and tornadoes that will convey the appropriate severity through public announcements.
Tornado Damage NC
How many times do tornadoes happen in NC each year? Tornado damage in NC happens just over a dozen times per year on average, according to NOAA. Tornadoes injure twenty times more people than they kill, sometimes leaving tornado victims with paralyzing or life-changing injuries and high medical bills. From 2011 through 2012 tornadoes in Western and Eastern North Carolina hit parts of downtown Raleigh and Cary suburbs. Deadly storms may approach areas the same way a typical thunderstorm rolls through, which means when a truly fatal storm is coming its hard to convince the public that they are in danger.
Researchers have found that residents who see tornado warnings in their area on television typically continue to flip through channels or wait until they see a funnel before they take safety measures. To prevent injuries and death, the National Weather Service wants to change the warning system to include specific instructions and phrases that will relay urgency to residents in danger. New phrases may include, “complete devastation likely,” “mobile homes will offer no shelter from this tornado” or “seek shelter now.”
North Carolina Storms
The impact-based warning experiment hopes to break through a barrier that’s been created over years of “false alarms.” The experiment starts in April 2012 in the Midwest region near Kansas and Missouri. North Carolina storm research teams will monitor the results later in the year and make recommendations based on the responses.
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