In the wee hours of the morning I woke to the sound of the wind howling and rain beating on the windows. There was also the wail of the tornado siren. Tornadoes are not common in January, but neither is a 60 degree day.
I shuffled out to the living room and turned on the television to see what was what. Storm Team/Scare Team was in action, keeping me breathlessly updated on the severe weather raging through my county. While the storm was bad, it appeared the possible tornadic activity was a bit south of my bunker. The front was moving at a race car clip and exited the immediate area after 20 minutes or so, leaving behind a steady rain and somewhat diminished winds.
I headed back to bed around 3:00 in the aye em, crisis averted.
It was then he county's Emergency Management System's heralded phone alert program finally contacted me to warn me of a tornado warning in my area. The warning came a full twenty-five minutes after the issuance of the tornado warning by the NWS and proximately 5 minutes after the warning expired. This is standard. The past few times we have been subjected to a tornado warning the call has come long after the danger has passed. I am starting to believe the county is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for some guy sitting in his basement dialing each resident one at a time.
According to most experts, the average tornado lasts less than ten minutes. Usually the NWS is only able to give a few minutes warning that conditions are ripe for a tornado. This means the government warning system is less than useless.That's OK, it is just tax money.