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


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

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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


Is this something you would want to be warned about? Would you expect the sirens to be blown?


What was that ?

  • 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

T


June 8 2008: Omaha, Nebraska(mid-morning)


June 8 2008: Omaha, Nebraska

NWS WCM

Home

Owner

Saw


2:10 – 2:30 AM June 8 2008


Storm-Relative Velocity


The Omaha Policy on 8 June, 2008

  • 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, Nebraska

NWS WCM

Home

Owner

Saw


The Aftermath of 8 June

  • Significant outcry

  • Meeting with the Mayor and Staff

  • Press Conference

  • 3 days of news coverage

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


11 June 2008

Xavier

14 Yr Old Boy Scout

Note the scar


11 June 2008

  • 4 Killed

  • 48 Injured


Had an “outdoor warning device” and NOAA Weather Radio


Boy Scout Policy Changes

  • 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 ?

Do you want a TOR

Inside a SVR ???


June 11, 2008 Tornado Warnings in the Omaha Area

  • 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


3-D KOAX Reflectivity at 2159 UTC (courtesy GR Level 2 Analyst)


June 27, 2008


June 27 Severe Thunderstorm

  • Hurricane force winds

  • Lasting for several minutes

  • Damage and debris was widespread

  • NO TORNADOES

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


Damage Survey


Storm statistics:

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! …

  • 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…

  • 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

  • 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… (?)

  • Kansas City Metro area ?

  • Lincoln, Nebraska – spotter sighting only

    • Minimizing False Alarms

  • Flash flood policies ?


Post-Event Activities

  • 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

  • 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 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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