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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 ?
  • 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 ???
june 8 2008 omaha nebraska
June 8 2008: Omaha, Nebraska

NWS WCM

Home

Owner

Saw

the omaha policy on 8 june 2008
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 nebraska1
June 8 2008: Omaha, Nebraska

NWS WCM

Home

Owner

Saw

the aftermath of 8 june
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
11 June 2008

Xavier

14 Yr Old Boy Scout

Note the scar

11 june 20081
11 June 2008
  • 4 Killed
  • 48 Injured
boy scout policy changes
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
slide26

What IF ?

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
  • 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?
june 27 severe thunderstorm
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?)
event impacts
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
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
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
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
What other lessons can be learned… (?)
  • Kansas City Metro area ?
  • Lincoln, Nebraska – spotter sighting only
    • Minimizing False Alarms
  • Flash flood policies ?
post event activities
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
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 ne1
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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