Hazardous weather impacts
U.S. fatalities due to tornadoes have
decreased, from more than 110 per year in the 1950s through the
1970s, to 58 per year since the implementation of Doppler radar
about 10 years ago at more than 120 National Weather Service
offices across the country.
- On average, the most weather-related fatalities over the past
30 years have been attributed to floods, with an average of 107,
followed by lightning, 67; tornadoes, 65; and then hurricanes, 14.
Central-southeast Illinois severe
In 2004, nearly 84 percent of all
severe weather events -- damaging winds, tornadoes and large hail
-- in central Illinois had advance warning by the National Weather
Service in Lincoln, with an average lead time of 16 minutes.
Since Doppler radar has been
installed at the National Weather Service in Lincoln, nearly 84
percent of all severe weather events have had advance warning,
with an average lead time of 16.5 minutes (period from January
1996 to December 2004).
Of the top 15 counties with the most
tornadoes in the state of Illinois, eight are in central Illinois:
McLean, No. 1; Macon, No. 2; Logan, No. 5; Sangamon, No. 6; Coles,
No. 9; Mason, No. 11; Tazewell, No. 13; and Champaign, No. 14.
(Data based on tornadoes from 1950-2002, normalized to 1,000
- Nearly 1,850 volunteer weather spotters were trained in 30
central Illinois counties this year. More than 600 were new
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Economic impacts of weather forecasts
One-third percent of the U.S. gross
national product (nearly $3 trillion) is affected by weather and
NOAA’s National Weather Service forecasts.
The average U.S. household only pays
about $1.08 per month for NOAA’s weather services.
Average annual damage from tornadoes,
hurricanes and floods in the United States is $11.4 billion.
Economists have estimated that
improved El Nino forecasts have resulted in annual savings of
nearly $300 million for U.S. agriculture by altering planting
- National Weather Service implementation of the Advanced
Hydrologic Prediction System will save lives and an estimated $240
million per year in flood losses and will contribute an additional
$520 million per year in economic benefits to water resource
for the latest weather and river forecasts, warnings, current
conditions, radar and satellite imagery, and climate information.
National Weather Service mission
The National Weather Service provides weather, hydrologic, and
climate forecasts and warnings for the United States, its
territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas, for the protection of
life and property and the enhancement of the national economy. The
NWS is the sole official U.S. voice for issuing warnings during
life-threatening weather situations.
[Provided by Chris Miller, warning coordination
meteorologist, National Weather Service-Lincoln]