Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The National Weather Service (NWS) is continuously improving its forecasting skills, but forecasters still cannot accurately predict the path of a tornado or a severe thunderstorm. The NWS has developed a new warning system in which the warned area is outlined by a polygon, not a county boundary. The polygon-waming approach is expected to significantly reduce the total square-mile area of warnings not followed by an event, called the False Alarm Area. There are three central issues concerning the failure of the polygon-warning method: I) the size of the counties impacted by a storm, 2) the impact of the new warning system on visual and auditory warning methods, and 3) the communication between the NWS, media, and emergency management. If the polygon-warning method is going to be a practical alternative to the countywarning method, then warning disseminators will have to work together to provide the most consistent method of communicating severe-weather wamings to citizens who are in immediate danger.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Scott Dobler

Disciplines

Physical Sciences and Mathematics