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Daniel Nietfeld – NOAA/NWS/WFO Omaha NE. Impact on policy from three severe weather events in the Omaha area in June, 2008. (and many other issues raised). Kansas City IWT Workshop: Using the WAS*IS Approach January 22, 2009.

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Daniel nietfeld noaa nws wfo omaha ne

Daniel Nietfeld – NOAA/NWS/WFO Omaha NE

Impact on policy from three severe weather events in the Omaha area in June, 2008

(and many other issues raised)

Kansas City IWT Workshop: Using the WAS*IS Approach January 22, 2009



What was that
What was that ? you expect the sirens to be blown?

  • Did it seem dangerous, or even life-threatening?

  • Rear flank downdraft (straight-line winds)

  • Behind a tornadic supercell (Hallam, NE)

  • What would be the best way to handle this scenario with a warning, and any associated siren blowing ???

  • What would be a good polygon solution for this scenario ???


May 22 2004 hallam nebraska f4
May 22, 2004 you expect the sirens to be blown?Hallam, Nebraska F4

T


June 8 2008 omaha nebraska mid morning
June 8 2008: Omaha, Nebraska you expect the sirens to be blown?(mid-morning)


June 8 2008 omaha nebraska
June 8 2008: Omaha, Nebraska you expect the sirens to be blown?

NWS WCM

Home

Owner

Saw


2 10 2 30 am june 8 2008
2:10 – 2:30 AM June 8 2008 you expect the sirens to be blown?


Storm relative velocity
Storm-Relative Velocity you expect the sirens to be blown?


The omaha policy on 8 june 2008
The Omaha Policy on 8 June, 2008 you expect the sirens to be blown?

  • Sound the sirens when the NWS issues a tornado warning

  • IT HI T WITHOUT ANY WARNING !!!!!

    • (From the NWS, or from a siren perspective)


June 8 2008 omaha nebraska1
June 8 2008: Omaha, Nebraska you expect the sirens to be blown?

NWS WCM

Home

Owner

Saw


The aftermath of 8 june
The Aftermath of 8 June you expect the sirens to be blown?

  • Significant outcry

  • Meeting with the Mayor and Staff

  • Press Conference

  • 3 days of news coverage

  • Google “Omaha” “Tornadoes” “June 8”


11 june 2008
11 June 2008 you expect the sirens to be blown?

Xavier

14 Yr Old Boy Scout

Note the scar


11 june 20081
11 June 2008 you expect the sirens to be blown?

  • 4 Killed

  • 48 Injured



Boy scout policy changes
Boy Scout Policy Changes you expect the sirens to be blown?

  • Must camp with a Severe Wx Trained adult

    • Severe weather training courses

    • Involving the IWT in groups such as Boy Scouts

  • Sirens / Outdoor warning devices

  • Storm Shelters


What IF ? you expect the sirens to be blown?

Do you want a TOR

Inside a SVR ???


June 11 2008 tornado warnings in the omaha area
June 11, 2008 Tornado Warnings in the Omaha Area you expect the sirens to be blown?

  • Tornado Warnings off/on 715 pm – 10 pm

  • Sirens off/on for nearly 3 hours

  • Were polygons too large?

    • (We were operating without a radar at times)

  • Should we take these political boundaries into account?


27 june 2008
27 June 2008 you expect the sirens to be blown?



June 27 2008
June 27, 2008 Analyst)


June 27 severe thunderstorm
June 27 Severe Thunderstorm Analyst)

  • Hurricane force winds

  • Lasting for several minutes

  • Damage and debris was widespread

  • NO TORNADOES

  • (?What is the best product for this scenario?)


Damage survey
Damage Survey Analyst)


Event impacts

Storm statistics: Analyst)

Path length: 90 miles

Path width: 4 to 6 miles

Estimated maximum wind speeds: 110-115 mph (EF2)

One fatality (tree fell on car in Council Bluffs, IA) and several minor injuries

Damage estimate: $53+ million in Douglas County (Omaha)

Event Impacts


Motivation new policy from lessons learned
MOTIVATION! Analyst)New Policy from Lessons Learned! …

  • When to activate:

  • When the National Weather Service initiates a Tornado Warning for any portion of Douglas County.

  • When a public safety official or trained storm-spotter states that s/he is in site of a rotating funnel cloud or tornado within Douglas County.

  • When Douglas County 911 receives credible reports of damage or the eminent threat of hurricane-force sustained winds equal to or greater than 74 mph.


New policy
New Policy… Analyst)

  • During night-time conditions or in the absence of adequate warning, the on-duty 911 supervisor can direct an activation of the outdoor warning sirens if he/she determines that lives may be saved and injuries averted by alerting the public to the severe weather condition.

Getting a bit vague here…


Conclusions
Conclusions Analyst)

  • Original Policy was product driven and failed when the science did not permit the proper product to be issued

  • Revised Policy was more impact driven, and worked when a life-threatening (but non-tornadic) weather event occurred


What other lessons can be learned
What other lessons can be learned… (?) Analyst)

  • Kansas City Metro area ?

  • Lincoln, Nebraska – spotter sighting only

    • Minimizing False Alarms

  • Flash flood policies ?


Post event activities
Post-Event Activities Analyst)

  • June 8

    • Local Media flurry

    • Live press conference with Mayor and 911 Director

  • June 11

    • National Media

  • June 27

    • Local Media

    • Insurance companies, lawyers, roofing companies, etc.


Discussion questions
Discussion Questions Analyst)

  • Siren Policies

  • Scout Camp issues

    • Shelters

    • Sirens

    • Should NWS Warnings have GIS data? (camps, etc…)

  • Polygon methodologies

  • Products that fit the event (wide range of Severe)


Daniel nietfeld noaa nws wfo omaha ne1

Daniel Nietfeld – NOAA/NWS/WFO Omaha NE Analyst)

Impact on policy from three severe weather events in the Omaha area in June, 2008

(and many other issues raised)

Kansas City IWT Workshop: Using the WAS*IS Approach January 22, 2009


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