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Deadly Season: Analysis of the 2011 Tornado Outbreaks
by Kevin M. Simmons and Daniel Sutter
American Meteorological Society, 2012
Paper: 978-1-878220-25-7 | eISBN: 978-0-933876-12-5
Library of Congress Classification QC955.5.U6S56 2012
Dewey Decimal Classification 551.553097309051

In 2011, despite continued developments in forecasting, tracking, and warning technology, the United States was hit by the deadliest tornado season in decades. More than 1,200 tornadoes touched down, shattering communities and their safety nets, and killing more than 500 people—a death toll unmatched since 1953.

Drawing on the unique analysis described in their first book, Economic and Societal Impacts of Tornadoes, economists Kevin M. Simmons and Daniel Sutter here examine the factors that contributed to the outcomes of such tornadoes as the mid-April outbreak that devastated communities in North Carolina, the “Super Outbreak” across the southern and eastern United States in late April, and the single, mile-wide funnel that touched down in Joplin, Missouri, in late May. In the course of their study the authors identify patterns and anomalies, and reconsider previous assertions about the effectiveness of the Doppler radar and storm warning systems. Their conclusions, as well their assessment of early recovery efforts, are aimed at helping community leaders and policy-makers keep vulnerable populations safer in the future.

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