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Oklahoma Tornado: The tragic consequences of cost-saving

The devastation wrought by the tornado in Oklahoma, USA, is hard to believe.   Even more difficult to fathom is how that there wasn't a greater, or better, warning to the populace about the pending tornado.     The answer seems readily available.    Lack of money for the weather service.   And this in the supposed richest country in the world?

"Was the severe weather system culminating in yesterday’s Oklahoma City tornado intensified – or even created – by climate change? That question will almost certainly be batted back and forth in the media over the next few days. After all, there is plenty of scientific evidence that climate change intensifies weather in general, but there remain legitimate questions about how – and even if – it intensifies tornadoes in specific.

One thing, however, that shouldn’t be up for debate is whether or not we should be as prepared as possible for inevitable weather events like tornadoes. We obviously should be – but there’s an increasing chance that we will not be thanks to the manufactured crisis known as sequestration.

As the Federal Times recently reported, sequestration includes an 8.2 percent cut to the National Weather Service. According to the organization representing weather service employees, that means there is “no way for the agency to maintain around-the-clock operations at its 122 forecasting offices” and also means “people are going to be overworked, they’re going to be tired, they’re going to miss warnings.”

Summarizing the problem, the American Institute of Physics put it bluntly: “The government runs the risk of significantly increasing forecast error and, the government’s ability to warn Americans across the country about high impact weather events, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, will be compromised.”

The good news is that the National Weather Service station in Norman, Oklahoma had a warning in effect for 16 minutes before the most recent Oklahoma City tornado hit. That’s better than the 13 minute average, so thankfully, more people probably had more time than usual to evacuate or find safe shelter."

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Anonymous said…
thanks for share......

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