The Method: Studying Weather And The Public

Mar 30, 2016

A large tornado tears across Tuscaloosa, Alabama, during the Super Outbreak, April 27, 2011. Project VORTEX-SE will study the conditions that produce tornadoes in the region.
Credit WBMA Birmingham/ABC 33-40

If you grew up in the South, you grew up with tornadoes and tornado warnings. But you probably didn’t know there are some big differences between the tornadoes that happen here, and their Midwestern cousins. They’re typically deadlier. They’re harder to see. And they’re more likely to happen at night, an especially dangerous time.

This month and next, meteorologists are carrying out an unprecedented study of tornadoes in the Southern states. The project is called VORTEX-Southeast, and the scientists involved aren’t just studying the sky. They’re studying people, too. Climatologist Kelsey Ellis is working on that part of the study, and she joins Method host Brandon Hollingsworth to talk about how people understand severe weather risks.

Then, Matt Shafer Powell talks with Anthony Cavallucci, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Morristown. They discuss so-called warning fatigue, and how weather forecasters try to warn the public of impending severe weather.