Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Winter, Nighttime Tornadoes Pose Greatest Risk, National Weather Service Warns

Date:
January 5, 2010
Source:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Summary:
Shrouded in darkness, nighttime tornadoes can be deadly, especially during the winter season when people are not accustomed to such severe weather. Given the dangers, forecasters with NOAA's National Weather Service are increasing efforts to alert people of a potential threat in their area before they go to sleep.

Forecasters from the Storm Prediction Center are issuing new public severe weather outlooks when conditions are favorable for strong and violent tornadoes to occur overnight.
Credit: NOAA

Shrouded in darkness, nighttime tornadoes can be deadly, especially during the winter season when people are not accustomed to such severe weather. Given the dangers, forecasters with NOAA's National Weather Service are increasing efforts to alert people of a potential threat in their area before they go to sleep.

Related Articles


The NOAA Storm Prediction Center, in conjunction with local National Weather Service offices across the country, is now issuing new public severe weather outlooks when forecast conditions are favorable for strong and violent tornadoes to occur overnight. When issued the outlook will be available online.

"Nighttime tornadoes pose a particular challenge since many people are asleep and not aware of watches and warnings," said Joseph Schaefer, director of NOAA's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. "We added this extra outlook to highlight potential threats while people are still awake."

Following the February 2008 Super Tuesday Tornado outbreak that caused 57 fatalities in Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama, researchers found most people minimize the threat of tornadoes in winter because it is outside the "traditional" tornado season.

"We know tornadoes can occur anywhere and at any time under the right conditions," Schaefer said. "Residents across the southern U.S. need to be extra vigilant in watching weather developments during this winter season."

The strongest winter tornado activity in the United States this winter is expected to be over Florida and the Gulf Coast region due to the current El Niño, Schaefer warned.

Chances of a tornado increase along the Gulf Coast with the current El Niño, a large-scale weather pattern associated with warming of sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. As these waters warm, they force the development of a stronger-than-average jet stream emanating from the eastern Pacific and extending across the southern tier of the United States. The impact of this jet stream is most apparent from January through late March when it enhances severe thunderstorm and tornado potential over coastal states.

Nearly 80 percent of cool-season tornado deaths in Florida occur during El Niños, many after dark. This type of deadly nighttime tornado activity occurred as recently as February 2007 when an outbreak caused 21 fatalities and 76 injuries, and February 1998, when tornadoes killed 42 people and injured 259. Other recent deadly cold season tornado outbreaks have affected parts of Georgia, Texas and Mississippi during El Niño years.

Having a NOAA Weather Radio at your bedside is the best way to know when a tornado is on the way. These small units receive a special tone that activates the radio alarm before broadcasting emergency announcements, such as a tornado warning issued by NOAA's National Weather Service. This feature is especially crucial when severe storms or other events occur at night when most people are sound asleep.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Winter, Nighttime Tornadoes Pose Greatest Risk, National Weather Service Warns." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100104135143.htm>.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2010, January 5). Winter, Nighttime Tornadoes Pose Greatest Risk, National Weather Service Warns. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100104135143.htm
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Winter, Nighttime Tornadoes Pose Greatest Risk, National Weather Service Warns." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100104135143.htm (accessed April 17, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, April 17, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Planet Defence Conference Tackles Asteroid Threat

Planet Defence Conference Tackles Asteroid Threat

AFP (Apr. 17, 2015) — Scientists gathered at a European Space Agency (ESA) facility outside Rome this week for the Planetary Defence Conference 2015 to discuss how to tackle the potential threat from asteroids hitting Earth. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gulf Scarred, Resilient 5 Years After BP Spill

Gulf Scarred, Resilient 5 Years After BP Spill

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) — Five years after the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, splotches of oil still dot the seafloor and wads of tarry petroleum-smelling material hide in pockets in the marshes of Barataria Bay. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing's Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) Echo Ranger

Boeing's Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) Echo Ranger

Scuba Diving (Apr. 16, 2015) — Seventy years after its service in World War II, NOAA, working with private industry partners, has confirmed the location and condition of the USS Independence. Resting upright in 2,600 feet of water off California’s Farallon Islands, the aircraft carrier’s hull and flight deck are clearly visible in sonar images, with what appears to be a plane in the carrier’s hangar bay. Video provided by Scuba Diving
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Drought Renews Thirst for Desalination Plants

California Drought Renews Thirst for Desalination Plants

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 16, 2015) — As California&apos;s water crisis deepens, a one billion dollar desalination plant is set to go on-line near San Diego. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins