Around 1916, that trend started to reverse. Ernest Agee, a professor of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences at Purdue University, credits the decline in fatalities to better scientific understanding of tornadoes and technology to warn people of developing storm events. Although tornadoes claim fewer than 100 lives each year in the U.S. on average, there's more work to be done to minimize tornado-related fatalities.
"We need to keep funding resources to improve observations and detection. The dual-polarization Doppler radar and high-resolution images of the newest GOES satellite have significantly enhanced our ability to detect and predict tornadoes," Agee said. "However, even with the current technology and numerical simulation capability, precise location and tornado intensity need further refinement. A holistic approach to fatality prevention also relies on tornado-proof structures and preparedness plans from schools and businesses to homes and mobile park communities."
Number - Intensity - Tornadoes - Agee - US
Because the number and intensity of past tornadoes are largely unknown, Agee considered U.S. census data on population and a historical record of tornado fatalities from 1808 to 2017. Tornado deaths require a population and the occurrence of sufficiently strong tornadoes, making census data a good place to start.
The range of years in the study was split into two periods. Era A, which spans from 1808 to 1915, was characterized by little to no understanding of tornadoes and the start of population growth in tornado-prone regions of the country.
Era - B - Period - Understanding - Weather
Era B, which spans from 1916 to 2017, ushered in a period of increased scientific understanding of extreme weather, improvements...
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