First, we extend our condolences to all of those who were affected by yesterday’s tragic weather. There were indeed a number of casualties, along with numerous properties damaged, but it’s also important to note how much worse things could have been without the advent of modern severe weather forecasting skill. The number of dead and injured certainly could have been higher without the modern forecast expertise of the SPC, NWS and the various private sector meteorological agencies or TV networks who aided in warning the public beforehand about Friday’s deadly potential.
There is often much criticism to go around when the meteorological community “blows” a forecast, especially when something is either over-hyped or, in some cases, a surprise event happens that takes everyone by surprise. However, when is credit ever given where it is due? I often see the SPC criticized for over-hyping SVR weather events, but does anyone ever take the time to note how often they really do get it right (it’s more often than you probably realize)?
The SPC’s mission is as follows: “The Storm Prediction Center exists solely to protect life and property of the American people through the issuance of timely and accurate watch and forecast products dealing with tornadoes, wildfires and other hazardous mesoscale weather phenomena.”
With that having been said, could you do this? Check out the graphics below to see how well the SPC’s various Day 1 outlooks actually verified and let the crickets commence! I’d say this a job well done, and it deserves acknowledgement:
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