Smith, senior vice president at AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, acknowledges the historic intensity of the tornado meant some loss of life was inevitable, but contends two interrelated factors worsened the human toll:
- The tornado siren system was flawed and, on that day, was exposed
- The National Weather Service didn’t have its finest day
The basic problem, Smith says, it that sirens are sounded too often in most places. Sometimes they sound in an entire county for a warning that covers just a sliver of it; sometimes for other thunderstorm phenomena like large hail and/or strong straight-line winds; and sometimes for false alarm warnings – warnings for tornadoes that were incorrectly detected....