Recent Trends in Tornado Statistics and Associated Warnings. Perceptions (and Misperceptions) Alan Gerard NWS Jackson Sixth Annual Southeast Severe Storms Symposium Mississippi State University. Premise.
Perceptions (and Misperceptions)
Sixth Annual Southeast Severe Storms Symposium
Mississippi State University
Important note: These analyses are informal. No detailed formal statistical analyses have been conducted.
From Tornado Project website
U.S. tornado deaths per million of people since 1875. From Brooks and Doswell 2001
Tornado death rate extrapolated out to 2020. Solid line is straight extrapolation – dashed line is based on a model incorporating mobile home residential trends. From Brooks & Doswell 2001
Percentage of people residing in mobile homes in U.S. Note that rate increased by sixfold in Southeast U.S. since 1960 to 1990.
There remains one particularly vulnerable group of people in the U.S., residents of mobile homes. The rate of death is relatively close to the pre-1925 values in the U.S. The increase in use of mobile homes for housing has meant that they are an increasingly large component of the overall death toll. Half of all fatalities from 1996 to 2000 occurred in mobile homes, more than twice the fraction twenty years earlier. It seems likely that the fraction of deaths in mobile homes will continue to increase. Efforts to improve safety practices and communication of forecast and warning information for this group will be especially important in the future if the long-term decrease in tornado fatalities in the U.S. is going to continue.
From Brooks and Doswell 2001
Number of tornado warnings per county per yr
Mean # of TOR Warnings
Plains Core 1.38
Southeast Core 2.64
Probably not for the large majority of people, based on number of warnings and sociological studies – but additional research is needed.