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NOAA PROVIDES CRITICAL LEAD TIME FOR SOUTHEAST TORNADOES

NOAA image of the storm-based Tornado Warning—peach-colored polygon—issued for Alabama's Coffee County, including Enterprise, at 12:47 p.m. CT on Thursday by the NOAA National Weather Service displayed the projected tornado path with greater specificity over the typical county-based warnings.March 2, 2007 Tornadoes that tore across the Southeast on Thursday struck after significant advance warning from the NOAA National Weather Service. Preliminary Tornado Warning lead times—the amount of time between the issuance of a Tornado Warning and the touchdown of a tornado—ranged from 12 minutes to 55 minutes, providing critical time for the emergency message to sound NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio and television and tornado sirens. For Enterprise, Ala., the preliminary tornado lead time was 18 minutes. (Click NOAA image for larger view of the storm-based Tornado Warning—peach-colored polygon—issued for Alabama's Coffee County, including Enterprise, at 12:47 p.m. CT on Thursday by the NOAA National Weather Service displayed the projected tornado path with greater specificity over the typical county-based warnings. Please credit “NOAA.”)

NOAA satellite image of severe weather outbreak that spawned deadly tornadoes taken at 11:15 a.m. EST on Thursday, March 1, 2007.New storm-based warnings, introduced by the NOAA National Weather Service in January (to be fully operational nationwide in October), helped to better pinpoint the path of yesterday’s tornadoes resulting in a reduction in the area warned, as compared to the previous county-based warning method. The Tornado Warning that included Enterprise, Ala., included a 71 percent reduction in areas that did not need the warning. (Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of severe weather outbreak that spawned deadly tornadoes taken at 11:15 a.m. EST on Thursday, March 1, 2007. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)

Starting Friday, teams of NOAA National Weather Service meteorologists will be on the ground conducting damage surveys in order to determine the Enhanced Fujita Scale rating, wind speed range, approximate times, width and path of each twister.

NOAA is not forecasting another severe weather outbreak in the coming days but encourages residents across the country to use this weekend to purchase a NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards receiver at electronic retailers or online as an essential method of receiving potentially life-saving severe weather warnings.

Preliminary NOAA Forecast Timeline for the Enterprise, Ala., Tornado

  • February 27-28: NOAA Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., indicates High Risk of severe weather for the Southeast U.S. for March 1.
  • March 1 9:45 a.m. Central Time: Tornado Watch issued by the NOAA Storm Prediction Center.
  • 12:47 p.m. CT: Tornado Warning issued for Alabama’s Coffee County, including Enterprise, by the NOAA National Weather Service in Tallahassee.
  • 1:05 p.m. CT Tornado hits Enterprise, Ala. Lead time is 18 minutes.

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Relevant Web Sites
NOAAWatch

NOAA Storm Prediction Center

NOAA National Weather Service

NOAA Storm Watch

NOAA Weather Portal

Media Contact:
Ron Trumbla, NOAA National Weather Service Southern Region, (817) 978-1111 ext. 140 or Dennis Feltgen, NOAA National Weather Service, (301) 713-0622