The confirmed death toll from the Oklahoma medical examiner was lowered from an earlier figure of 51, illustrating the confusion as day broke over the shattered city of Moore. It was not clear how many children were included in the revised death toll, and authorities cautioned the toll could change again.An NBC News story on the death toll from the Oklahoma tornadoes, which was revised down to 24, something the Associated Press reports was caused by counting victims twice during the early chaos of the storm.
» Storms predicted, reported early: On Thursday, the Norman, Okla.-based Storm Prediction Center announced a potentially life-threatening storm that would hit the midwest and plains states this weekend. It was just the second time that the center made an announcement more than a day in advance of a storm. The center warns that the threat is still there, but it’s just moved eastward. But it left much destruction in its path: In Iowa, a town was largely destroyed; in Kansas, an Air Force base suffered damage. Nebraska reported baseball-sized hail. But in Oklahoma, the storms proved deadly. Very scary.
The majority of surveyed Joplin residents did not immediately go to shelter upon hearing the initial warning, whether from local warning sirens, television, NWR [NOAA weather radio], or other sources.From the National Weather Service’s report on last year’s tornado in Joplin • Detailing how, in severe storm conditions, a big part of safeguarding communities and lives depends on people taking warnings seriously. In one instance, a Joplin resident ignored a slew of warning signals, driving from place to place looking for an open restaurant despite seeing that some were barred against the brewing storm, and hearing tornado warnings throughout town. As a response, the NWS has implementing new, stronger and more frightening vocabulary to be used for high-risk storm alerts, such as “mass devastation,” “complete destruction,” and “not survivable.” We really hope everybody in the Midwest will prioritize their safety over the coming days – authorities anticipate big storms (and likely tornadoes) to roll through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska later tonight. source (via • follow)
» Why the storms didn’t prove deadly: Despite there being a dozen tornadoes that touched ground, it helped significantly that the storms happened in the middle of the day, rather than late at night. With people awake, it’s much easier to ensure they take cover; when people are asleep, the challenge becomes much more significant, meteorologists say.