It’s April again and that unfortunately means it’s tornado season. Clicking the image to your right will take you to an interactive story map showing the tornado path for this storm, with links to videos, pictures and other supporting information. The story shows a step by step view over a 60 minute period during the life of this tornado.
This storm rotation path is based on NWS Weather Radar observations. Points were added to depict the center of rotation at roughly five minute intervals as the radar updated. Those points are then connected to depict an approximate rotation path, which is then buffered on each side to depict a 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile and 1 mile wide area. The tornado width has not yet been determined by NWS Little Rock, however these ranges help to depict likely impact areas, with the most likely impact area being the 1/4 mile wide corridor (red area), followed by the orange area (1/2 mile wide corridor) and finally the 1 mile wide corridor (yellow area).
Additionally, the damage photos and videos were added to the story map AFTER the damage path was created. This means that as videos and pictures are reported to/by local media, social media, emergency managers, etc., the location of the photos can be compared against the preliminary estimated damage path in order to verify the accuracy of the information.
The preliminary impact corridor is essentially serving to identify the hazard zone. On top of that map, information on community facilities, demographics, etc can be overlaid, thus creating an realtime operational impact analysis or risk assessment. That in turn can be used to help refine the response to the hazard so the community can respond and then recover as fast as possible.
When you don’t know the impact zone of any natural disaster, it’s nearly impossible to get your arms around the situation and make sure that the appropriate resources are being called upon to assist in the response. However when the impact zone is clearly identified, it can facilitate improved collaboration and effectiveness of the response – from individual citizens and neighbors, to community groups, charities and finally local, state and national officials.
If you find this resource helpful, please pass it on to others. Thanks.