By Simmons Kevin M Sutter Daniel American Meteorological Society

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Extra resources for Deadly Season: Analyzing the 2011 Tornado Outbreaks

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And the imperfection of the damage data suggests the utility of alternative measures of impacts. Injury data, however, are far less reliable than fatality totals, due to the confidentiality of medical records and possible differences in effectiveness in tracking down injury information. Consequently, injury analysis is itself limited as well. In particular, the tornado records for 2011 reported no injuries for several killer tornadoes in 2011. 9% of tornadoes between 1950 and 2010), tornadoes with more fatalities than injuries are very rare.

Among the six EF-5 tornadoes, the model underestimated fatalities in the Joplin tornado, projecting a total of 21 compared to the actual count of 159. This might not seem surprising in one sense, as the Joplin death toll exceeded by almost a factor of 5 the greatest death toll of any tornado in the 1986–2010 sample. But the model did anticipate the potential for a death toll far in excess of recent history, with a predicted fatality count of 143 for the northern Alabama EF-5 tornadoes, and this projection is very close to the death toll in Joplin.

A list of 2011 killer tornadoes was obtained from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) website, and path survey data (primarily damage path length) from various NWS Weather Forecast Office (WFO) websites. 2. DO FATALITIES REGRESSIONS ANTICIPATE THE 2011 DEATH TOLLS? 1. 9 Projections sum the point estimates and 95% confidence intervals for 33 of 2010’s killer tornadoes, which together account for 505 tornadoes. for 33 of the 59 killer tornadoes of 2011 (through August), tornadoes that collectively accounted for 504 of the year’s 552 fatalities.

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