Is Metro Storm Ready? MPR/KARE11 Tornado project hits the air

159 killed in Joplin, Missouri tornado last May 22nd

1,000 injured in Joplin in about 15-20 minutes

15-20 minutes “lead time” – NWS tornado warnings were issued several minutes before the tornado hit Joplin

3 to 6 – number of “risk signals” many residents in Joplin ignored before taking cover

“Risk Perception & Optimism Bias” – The feeling “it won’t happen here”

This was the single deadliest tornado in U.S. history since modern record-keeping began in 1950. Rated EF-5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, this mile-wide tornado was the largest and most powerful type, and it traveled 22 miles on the ground.

NOAA details on the Joplin “Super Twister”

40 to 50 years – The probable time span between major tornado outbreaks in he Twin Cities metro (Data from Dr. Kenny Blumenfeld, tornado researcher at U of M)

47 years since the devastating 1965 Twin Cities Tornado Outbreak

26 average annual number of tornadoes in Minnesota from 1950-1980

48 average number of tornadoes per year in Minnesota from 2001-2010

10:40am Paul Huttner & Belinda Jensen preview the series live on The Daily Circuit with Kerri Miller

11 am “Storm Ready” Live Chat online

5:35pm Part I of “Storm Ready?” airs on All Thnngs Considered with Tom Crann

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Damage from the tornado that hit Joplin, Mo., on May 22, 2011.

Credit: NOAA

Are We Storm Ready?

Today on MPR and KARE11 we begin a new series on tornado readiness in the Twin Cities.

In light of the deadly and devastating tornadoes in Joplin and Tuscaloosa last year, and with rapidly increasing tornado frequency in Minnesota we wondered just how well prepared is the Twin Cities metro for a major tornado?

MPR and KARE 11 news mangers asked me and KARE11’s Belinda Jensen to come up with a scenario…a “tornado simulation” that is meteorologically accurate that would strike the hear of the Twin Cities metro.

The result? A devastating EF3 to EF4 tornado with winds of 150-200 mph that follows a typical Minnesota southwest to northeast tornado track from the southwest Minneapolis suburbs of Shakopee, Eden Prairie and Edina right into downtown Minneapolis.

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Source: MPR News/KARE11

The series looks at how shopping centers, schools, senior care facilities, hospitals, traffic jammed freeways and stadiums would deal with an approaching tornado.

It also looks at how we process severe weather information in a tornado situation, and who’s responsible for your safety in various public buildings and stadiums.

Look for the series for reports from MPR reporters Curtis Gilbert and Paul Tosto, and KARE 11’s Jay Olstad the next two days.

This is some pretty illuminating stuff. We like to think we are ready in Minnesota for just about anything, but are we really “Storm Ready?”

Find out this week on MPR News stations and KARE11 News.


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