Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tornado warnings are too often ignored, researcher says

Date:
October 26, 2010
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
With big storms ripping across the Midwest, Bob Drost is hoping people are paying attention to the severe weather and tornado warnings. Unfortunately, Drost knows that many times those warnings are ignored, according to his research. "Only 63 percent understood that a warning is the most urgent National Weather Service statement during severe weather," he said.

An F3 tornado sets down in a field.
Credit: iStockphoto/Clint Spencer

With big storms ripping across the Midwest, Bob Drost is hoping people are paying attention to the severe weather and tornado warnings.

Unfortunately, Drost, a doctoral student at Michigan State University, knows that many times those warnings are ignored, according to his research. "Only 63 percent understood that a warning is the most urgent National Weather Service statement during severe weather," he said.

Next week, Drost will present his research findings at the Geological Society of America's annual conference to fellow earth scientists and students. His study split subjects into two groups: those with episodic experience, witnessing tornados firsthand, and those who have semantic experiences or have collected their tornado knowledge from books, television, the Internet, or family and friends.

"There's a phenomenon associated with how people react and act to severe storm and tornado warnings," said Drost, who works in MSU's Geocognition Research Laboratory. "Much of it is based on people's prior experience with severe weather. It's comparable to biting into an apple with a worm in it. Eating part of a worm will affect how you decide about eating apples for the rest of your life."

Participants with episodic experiences exhibited a lower overall tendency to react to a tornado warning than those who have primarily semantic knowledge of tornadoes. But overall, it was the percentage of people who didn't acknowledge the severity of storm warnings that stood out to Drost.

Drost has seen the power of storms firsthand. While observing the arrival of 70 mph straight-line winds, he saw three trees blow over and made it into his house safely before losing his screen door to the storm. While he admits that he is drawn to big weather, he is hoping that his research will improve the National Weather Service's storm warning system as well as how people react to it.

"I'm planning on continuing my research on this topic," Drost said. "By working with the scientists and policymakers at organizations like the National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, I'm hoping to find better methods based on social, scientific and cognitive research that will cause people to react appropriately to storm and tornado warnings."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Tornado warnings are too often ignored, researcher says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101026141505.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2010, October 26). Tornado warnings are too often ignored, researcher says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101026141505.htm
Michigan State University. "Tornado warnings are too often ignored, researcher says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101026141505.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) The mystery of the moving rocks in Death Valley, California, has finally been solved. Scientists are pointing to a combo of water, ice and wind. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

AP (Aug. 27, 2014) Thundering surf spawned by Hurricane Marie pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town. High surf warnings were posted for Los Angeles County south through Orange County. (Aug. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

Calif. Quake Underscores Need for Early Warning

AP (Aug. 26, 2014) Researchers at UC Berkeley are testing a prototype of an earthquake early warning system that California is pursuing years after places like Mexico and Japan already have them up and running. (August 26) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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