Technology to predict tornadoes in advance still decades away


by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 21 at 10:20 PM

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas -- A sense of urgency was evident inside the National Weather Service office in New Braunfels late Tuesday afternoon. 

A severe storm system quickly bustling into parts of the Hill Country and North Texas were moving from east to west. That meant extra meteorologists were called in to the NWS to work and those who were there were asked to stay late. 

“It's saving lives and property. Getting the warnings out in time and giving advice to people and telling them what to do in case there's an emergency,” said Paul Yura, a meteorologist with the NWS in New Braunfels which covers a 34,000 square mile area encompassing 33 Central Texas counties. 

Yura also told KVUE News that the nation’s Doppler Radar systems were just updated allowing meteorologists to better see inside storms. 

The meteorologist also said that the Dallas-Fort Worth area is currently testing out some new and cheaper radar systems that could work to fill in the gaps now left in some pockets of Texas when it comes to smaller weather systems. 

As far as being able to predict tornado formations hours in advance, Yura says that technology is still at least three decades away. 

However, the latest in technology can only do so much when it comes to human behavior. 

“We still need the general public to heed those warnings. When you're asked to evacuate you need to evacuate. When you're asked to go to a shelter, you need to go to a shelter and let us do the work of putting those watches and warnings out but to protect yourself,” Yura said.


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