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Tornado Warning for Austin!

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woodyrr

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March 7, 2008 14:25

I have heard reports of a tornado near I-35 in "Austin". For the last hour it has been heading directly for a stadium packed with widows, orphans, and cuddly little puppies.

This exercise is being conducted on Oklahoma State DPS, Oklahoma City Site 8, Moore EM 1, TGID 58384.
 
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jmtyra

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Interesting...I wasn't near my scanner at the time, but I didn't hear anything around 4:30-ish when I was headed home.

Did they say anything else?
 

n5usr

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And lightning - don't forget the lightning! :p They were quite sure to add that in at the end of one report.

Heh. I figured that had to be an exercise! :) For a bit I was trying to think of a good reason why something happening in Austin would be heard on the state DPS system here!

Just to be sure, I did pull up the NWS website when I got home to see what the weather was like in Austin... ;) Looks like they are actually bone dry there right now - Red Flag alert is in place.
 

woodyrr

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After about another hour they signed off.

From what I gather, it might have been associated with some weather activity at the NWS office in Norman. Very oddly, the warnings that were being issued were for the Austin - San Antonio area as I heard a warning issued for San Marcos. As it went on, just like n5usr, I eventually became concerned that I had made light of an actual devastating event that was somehow being rebroadcast here, however a check of the NWS website failed to show any active warnings for that area.

I was particularly amused at the unidentified spotter report of "scary looking storms". I wish now that I had made a note of the call letters of the TV station that they were "talking" to to see if it was from the Austin area.

I don't know the ultimate fate of the "panicked" rabble in the stadium since they stopped the exercise before the carnage. If they could only do that in real life.
 

jmtyra

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Well, come to think of it, I bet there are two important items to consider:

* 'They', whoever, are probably doing a practice run of procedures. We are about to enter the nasty storm time of year here in this part of the country. =)

* I'm willing to be they specifically picked a location for the scenario that is not even in the state on purpose. Say, some people with scanners (or other members of the 'they') heard a deadly storm was coming for an area that was local...people might start to panic or freak out. Even with it being a city in a different state, it still caused at least two people to check the NWS site, right? =D

Just thinking out loud...

PS - On a side note, I'm damned glad to have gotten this scanner (have the 396T) after listening to some analog trunk DPS traffic the other week when we had the storms. Frankly, I don't have to turn my TV on! The dispatchers warning the officers on duty was plenty enough information for me, and quite frankly, seemed just as (audibly) accurate/quick as the weather station.

But...I do get my kicks out of watching the animated radar though...those are so cool!!! =)
 

n5usr

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No, but at least according to Google Maps there is an "Austin station" (no capital on the "station") - which appears to be out in the middle of a field east of McAlester. :p

When I heard the radio traffic, I just assumed Austin, TX. Which made me wonder why we had so much radio traffic here for something going on there - thus realizing it had to be a drill of some sort.
 

woodyrr

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I looked on the web and discovered that it was an exercise at the Severe Weather Workshop at the NWS in Norman. There is another Workshop today so maybe they'll do something like it again, however, the notice states that the "scenario" as they call it only takes place on March 6 and 7.

http://www.norman.noaa.gov/nsww2008/
 

wx5uif

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Yeap I was there. It was in fact a scenario where EM, media, and NWS got to reverse their roles and see how communication and such could be changed and how stuff worked in differant offices. We used real radar data from a storm that they had a few years ago and got to try to issue warnings on it as it was heading towards downtown Austin and a stadium with ~ 80K people in it.
 

Sparky_one

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why not austin

I thought Austin was the prefect place to wipe out. It would have been nice to involve real spotters though. In the past storm a couple of Sundays ago, the spotters on duty were having "first day" jitters. If it weren't for the fact that it was just a hook echo, it could have been disastrous. These guys were out there fumbling, stumbling, and wasting significant air resources reporting things from leaves blowing around to light rain. I think I even heard one guy report clouds in his area.
I was with a group of 2 other people and we followed the system to Lincoln county. We made only one report the whole time and that was just to report a significant temperature drop per request of the net controller.

So, I just can't wait until the next one.

BTW, if any of the spotters are reading this from two weeks ago, remember, your reports are to be precise, exact, to the point, and not long winded. Spotting is NOT rag chewing!
 

jmtyra

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I'm ~TOTALLY~ looking forward to hearing the spotters on the scanner this year.
'This year', because I didn't have a scanner the previous 'x' hehehe. =)

As much as I hate the priority feature, because of the audio 'hic' every 3 seconds, I may still dedicate a priority channel to the weather spotters just to keep up on the situations. =)
 
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