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Population influences on tornado reports in the United States

Weather and Forecasting

6817_Anderson.pdf
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Abstract

The number of tornadoes reported in the United States is believed to be less than the actual incidence of tornadoes, especially prior to the 1990s, because tornadoes may be undetectable by human witnesses in sparsely populated areas and areas in which obstructions limit the line of sight. A hierarchical Bayesian model is used to simultaneously correct for population-based sampling bias and estimate tornado density using historical tornado report data. The expected result is that F2-F5 compared with F0-F1 tornado reports would vary less with population density. The results agree with this hypothesis for the following population centers: Atlanta, Georgia; Champaign, Illinois; and Des Moines, Iowa. However, the results indicated just the opposite in Oklahoma. It is hypothesized that the result is explained by the misclassification of tornadoes that were worthy of F2-F5 rating but were classified as F0-F1 tornadoes, thereby artificially decreasing the number of F2-F5 and increasing the number of F0-F1 reports in rural Oklahoma.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Population influences on tornado reports in the United States
Series title:
Weather and Forecasting
Volume
22
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2007
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
571-579
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
571
Last page:
579
Number of Pages:
9