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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. Saragosa, Texas, Tornado May 22, 1987: An Evaluation of the Warning System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1766.
×

NATURAL DISASTER STUDIES

Volume Three

SARAGOSA, TEXAS, TORNADO

MAY 22, 1987 AN EVALUATION OF THE WARNING SYSTEM

Prepared by:

Benigno E. Aguirre,

Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas (senior author)

Walter A. Anderson,

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service Forecast Office, Lubbock, Texas

Sam Balandran,

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, Southern Region Headquarters, Fort Worth, Texas

Brian E. Peters,

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, Southern Region Headquarters, Fort Worth, Texas

H. Max White,

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, Southern Region Headquarters, Fort Worth, Texas

For:

Committee on Natural Disasters

Division of Natural Hazard Mitigation

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C. 1991

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. Saragosa, Texas, Tornado May 22, 1987: An Evaluation of the Warning System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1766.
×

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 90-63997

International Standard Book Number 0-309-04435-9

A limited number of copies of this monograph are available from:

Committee on Natural Disasters, HA 286

National Research Council

2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20418

202/334-3312

Additional copies are available for sale from:

National Academy Press
2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418 202/334-3313 1-800-624-6242

Printed in the United States of America

S-287

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. Saragosa, Texas, Tornado May 22, 1987: An Evaluation of the Warning System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1766.
×

NATURAL DISASTER STUDIES

An Investigative Series of the Committee on Natural Disasters

The Committee on Natural Disasters and its predecessors, dating back to the committee that studied the 1964 Alaska Earthquake, have conducted on-site studies and prepared reports reflecting their findings and recommendations on the mitigation of natural disaster effects. Objectives of the committee are to:

  • record time-sensitive information immediately following disasters;

  • provide guidance on how engineering and the social sciences can best be applied to the improvement of public safety;

  • recommend research needed to advance the state of the art in the area of natural disaster reduction; and

  • conduct special studies to address long-term issues in natural disasters, particularly issues of a multiple-hazard nature.

EDITOR

Riley M. Chung

National Research Council

EDITORIAL BOARD

Dennis S. Mileti, Chairman

Colorado State University Fort Collins

Arthur N. L. Chiu

University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu

Joseph H. Golden

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Washington, D.C.

Dale C. Perry

Texas A&M University College Station

Norbert S. Baer

New York University New York

Hanna J. Cortner

University of Arizona Tucson

Wilfred D. Iwan

California Institute of Technology Pasadena

William J. Petak

University of Southern California

Los Angeles

Earl J. Baker

Florida State University Tallahassee

Peter Gergely

Cornell University Ithaca, New York

Ahsan Kareem

University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, Indiana

Robert L. Schuster

U.S. Geological Survey Denver, Colorado

SPONSORING AGENCIES

Federal Emergency Management Agency

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Science Foundation

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. Saragosa, Texas, Tornado May 22, 1987: An Evaluation of the Warning System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1766.
×

INVITATION FOR DISCUSSION

Materials presented in Natural Disaster Studies often contain observations and statements that inspire debate. Readers interested in contributing to the discussion surrounding any topic contained in the journal may do so in the form of a letter to the editor. Letters will be reviewed by the editorial board, and if considered appropriate, printed in subsequent issues of Natural Disaster Studies.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. Saragosa, Texas, Tornado May 22, 1987: An Evaluation of the Warning System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1766.
×

COMMITTEE ON NATURAL DISASTERS (1987–1990)

NORBERT S. BAER,

Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, New York

EARL J. BAKER,

Department of Geography, Florida State University, Tallahassee

ARTHUR N. L. CHIU,

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu

HANNA J. CORTNER,

Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona, Tucson

JOHN A. DRACUP,

Civil Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles

DANNY L. FREAD,

National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland

PETER GERGELY,

Department of Structural Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

JOSEPH H. GOLDEN,

Chief Scientist Office, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington, D.C.

WILFRED D. IWAN,

Department of Earthquake Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

AHSAN KAREEM,

Civil Engineering Department, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana

DENNIS S. MILETI,

Department of Sociology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins

JOSEPH PENZIEN,

Department of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

DALE C. PERRY,

Department of Construction Science, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University, College Station

WILLIAM J. PETAK,

Institute of Safety and Systems Management, University of Southern California, Los Angeles

ROBERT L. SCHUSTER,

U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado

RANDALL G. UPDIKE,

U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia

Staff

RILEY M. CHUNG, Director

BARBARA BODLING, Editor

SUSAN R. MCCUTCHEN, Administrative Assistant

SHIRLEY J. WHITLEY, Project Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. Saragosa, Texas, Tornado May 22, 1987: An Evaluation of the Warning System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1766.
×

Liaison Representatives

WILLIAM A. ANDERSON,

Earthquake Systems Integration, Division of Biological and Critical Systems, National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C.

BRUCE A. BAUGHMAN,

Hazard Mitigation Branch, Public Assistance Division, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, D.C.

FRED COLE,

Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.

ROBERT D. GALE (deceased),

U.S. Department of Agriculture/Forest Service, Washington, D.C.

EDWARD M. GROSS,

Constituent Affairs and Industrial Meteorology Staff, National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland

WILLIAM HOOKE,

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington, D.C.

PAUL KRUMPE,

Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.

J. ELEONORA SABADELL,

Division of Biological and Critical Systems, National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C.

GERALD F. WIECZOREK,

Office of Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Engineering, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia

ARTHUR J. ZEIZEL,

Office of Natural and Technological Hazards Programs, State and Local Programs and Support, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, D.C.

LAWRENCE W. ZENSINGER (alternate),

Office of Disaster Assistance Programs, State and Local Programs and Support, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, D.C.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. Saragosa, Texas, Tornado May 22, 1987: An Evaluation of the Warning System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1766.
×

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the kind assistance of the residents and local authorities of Saragosa, who made this report possible.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. Saragosa, Texas, Tornado May 22, 1987: An Evaluation of the Warning System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1766.
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Glossary of Abbreviations

AFOS

automation of field operations and services

AP

Associated Press

AWIPS

Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System

CDT

central daylight time

DPS

Department of Public Safety

EBS

Emergency Broadcast System

EOC

Emergency Operating Center

LETS

Law Enforcement Teletype System

LI

lifted index

MDT

mountain daylight time

MIC

meteorologist in charge

NAWAS

National Warning System

NOAA

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NSSFC

National Severe Storms Forecast Center

NWR

NOAA Weather Radio

NWS

National Weather Service

NWWS

NOAA Weather Wire Service

PPI

planned position indicator

TSN

Texas State Network

UPI

United Press International

VIP

video integrator processor

WSFO

Weather Service Forecast Office

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. Saragosa, Texas, Tornado May 22, 1987: An Evaluation of the Warning System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1766.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. Saragosa, Texas, Tornado May 22, 1987: An Evaluation of the Warning System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1766.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. Saragosa, Texas, Tornado May 22, 1987: An Evaluation of the Warning System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1766.
×

The Saragosa, Texas, Tornado

May 22, 1987

An Evaluation of the Warning System

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1991. Saragosa, Texas, Tornado May 22, 1987: An Evaluation of the Warning System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1766.
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Page viii Cite
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Saragosa, Texas, Tornado May 22, 1987: An Evaluation of the Warning System Get This Book
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The small community of Saragosa, Texas, was devastated by a violent multiple-vortex tornado on Friday, May 22, 1987. Despite the extensive warning dissemination efforts, which are documented in this book, the overall warning system in Saragosa failed to reach most of the residents in time for them to take effective safety measures.

The primary purpose of this book is to combine the information provided by the respondents to a postdisaster survey with the facts surrounding the tornado in order to understand and evaluate the severe weather warning procedures used in Reeves County, Texas, where Saragosa is located.

The evaluation of this survey is intended to determine ways of adjusting existing warning systems and better prepare the citizens, public officials, and news media in Reeves County, as well as in every city, county, and township where severe weather threatens lives and property.

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