Comparison of fatal tornado events in two different NWS forecast office regions

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tornadoes , national weather service , nws , fatalities , Student Showcase of Research & Engagement 2018
Wells, Meghan
Tornadoes are one of the deadliest weather phenomena in the United States. They are caused by severe thunderstorms. Due to the extreme nature of these storms, meteorologists try to issue severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings well in advance of an event. The goal of this project was to gain a better understanding of tornado related fatalities and the lead times of watches and warnings associated with them. An analysis compared tornado-related fatalities in two National Weather Service (NWS) County Warning Areas (CWA): Norman, Oklahoma and Little Rock, Arkansas. The Norman, OK CWA has a longer median lead time for tornado warnings than the Little Rock, AR CWA. A possible explanation may be that the Norman, OK NWS office forecasts for a larger region and greater population than the Little Rock, AR NWS office. In addition, all fatalities were combined into one data set and it was found that the majority of fatalities were within houses and mobile homes. In the state of Oklahoma, a person is twice as likely to be murdered by another human being as be killed by a tornado. Further analyses are discussed in the paper and poster.