The Spatial Dependency of Tornado Warning Lead Times
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During a 10-year period from 1997-2007 from May-September there were a total of 8,577 tornado events in the continental United States; for 77% of these having National Weather Service (NWS) warnings. This study examines the differences of lead times (time between a tornado warning and beginning of tornado) by defined geographic locations. Two datasets were compiled, one including lead times of the tornadoes and the other with Fujita scale ratings. The first dataset of tornado events was sorted by defined geographic regions, by month from May to September, and by lead times. The second dataset was also separated by defined geographic regions, months from May to September, as well as Fujita Scale rating. These two data sets were combined to show which geographic region enjoyed the most warning lead time for tornado events, as well as the highest ratings on the F-scale. Key results show whether the lead times are different around the geographic regions. The descriptions of the data show a skewed distribution of lead times across all of the defined regions and the medians of lead times across the defined regions. Each month was also examined to see if there was a time between May and September that had more tornadoes. Each region was also examined separately to discover which had the highest lead times, as well as how many tornadoes occurred during the study period. Non-parametric statistical tests were used to examine differences in lead times, in order to show which region had the most warning per event.