NWS: New tool confirmed Miss. tornadoFebruary 16th, 2013 by Laura Tillman in Earth / Earth Sciences
(AP)—Officials say new technology allowed forecasters in Mississippi to quickly confirm the tornado that tore through Hattiesburg this week and alert the public.
The Dual-polarization Doppler technology allowed forecasters to see the shape and size of debris inside the tornado. In the past, forecasters have generally relied on visual reports of tornadoes, which are difficult to get at night.
Because of the new technology, they were able to issue warnings confirming the tornado and give people time to get to safety.
Dozens of injuries were reported from tornadoes that struck south Mississippi this week, but no fatalities.
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Robert Latham says he believes the new technology helped prevent tornado-related deaths.
National Weather Service offices throughout the country are being updated with the new technology.
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"NWS: New tool confirmed Miss. tornado." February 16th, 2013. http://phys.org/news/2013-02-nws-tool-tornado.html