NBC has done a nice job explaining some of the science behind the OK city tornado outbreaks. And they provide an interesting chart that compares the current events with the deadly tornadoes of 1999, which is the frame of reference for many people in OK. The article is titled Curse or coincidence? Scientists study Tornado Alley’s past and future
- How to Understand the Scale of Today’s Oklahoma Tornado (blogs.smithsonianmag.com)
- A Brief History Of Oklahoma Tornadoes (NPR)
I never get the kind of info I want from the news accounts. Since OK is centrally located in Tornado Alley, I would like to know things like:
- what type of building/construction codes were in place in OK City?
- what percentage of the population had a storm cellar or a safe room in their house?
- how much tornado preparedness information and/or training was provided locally?
It is worth citing the quote from the Christian Science Monitor that I mentioned in May 2011, right after the devastating Joplin, MO tornadoes:
Yet the stunning death tolls from tornadoes this spring raise new questions about government subsidies for storm shelters, the psychology of warning response, the possibility of limited tornado evacuations, and the argument that tornado warning and response should be considered a national security issue.