Weather radios now required for Indiana mobile homes

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:36 PM GMT on April 27, 2007

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Mobile homes sold in the state of Indiana after June 30 this year must come equipped with a weather radio capable of alerting residents of an approaching tornado, thanks to a law signed by Indiana governor Mitch Daniels this week. The legislation, dubbed "C.J.'s Law", was named after 2-year old C.J. Martin, who died in a F3 tornado that killed 25 people in southwestern Indiana on November 6, 2005. Twenty of the victims lived in the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park in Evansville. The storm hit at 2am, when many residents were asleep and didn't hear the tornado sirens. C.J.'s mother, Kathryn Martin, pushed lawmakers to adopt the bill, pointing out that weather radios with a tone alert system could have saved many lives in the mobile home park.

This type of law makes great sense for mobile homes sold in tornado alley--think of it as a companion to your smoke detector in the house. Mobile home residents make up just 7% of the U.S. population, but account for 40% of the deaths in tornadoes. However, there are a number of issues that may make the law ineffective. Firstly, what type of weather radio will be purchased? There are many poor quality units out there, prone to radio interference, and difficult to program (weather radios require the user to input a special SAME code, needed to issue tone alerts when a tornado warning is issued). Secondly, the NWS sends out weekly or monthly test alerts on weather radio--how many mobile home owners will simply turn off their weather radios because they are sick of hearing the regular tests? Or turn them off after a few false alarms wake them up in the middle of the night for tornadoes that appear on Doppler radar, but never touch down? Thirdly, once the residents of a mobile home park are awakened by an alert, where do they go? Indiana, like most states, has no law requiring mobile home parks to have a tornado shelter. However, there is now Federal money available for mobile home parks to construct tornado shelters, so the number of parks with shelters may increase in coming years. In summary, the law has the potential to save lives--but only if it is properly enacted.


Figure 1. Damage to C.J. Martin's mobile home park near Evansville, Indiana due to the November 6, 2005 tornado. Image credit: Paducah, KY NWS.

Jeff Masters

Indiana/Kentucky Tornado - Ellis Race Track Backside 3 (Soniknate)
A close-up of the damage to the apartments, horse stalls, and other objects. People cleaning up debris in photo.
Indiana/Kentucky Tornado - Ellis Race Track Backside 3

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67. hurricane23
13:49 EDT le 27 avril 2007
For those who were not aware of the Hurricane Conference that took place in the bahamas about a week ago here is the link to great discussions that took place includeing bill gray on his 07 perdictions and a few others.

Video Coverage of conference
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13793
66. hurricane23
1:34 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
Here is a large visible image of the caribbean from my software.

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13793
65. weathermanwannabe
1:21 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
While many of the traditional genesis factors appear to be setting up for an active early season (SST's, lower shear, etc.) in the Carribean/Gulf, we still have not seen persistent convection from the current blob off SA which appears to be dissipating....
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9134
64. hurricane23
13:19 EDT le 27 avril 2007
Conditions are unfavorable which is a great thing and from the looks an upper low seems to be embedded within the trof located around 24N.In 5-6 weeks will be a good time to begin watching waves moving into the caribbean.For now lets enjoy the quite times.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13793
63. RL3AO
12:17 PM CDT on April 27, 2007
The blob is being torn apart.
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62. thelmores
5:13 PM GMT on April 27, 2007


I agree Kman..... interesting to observe.....
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61. thelmores
4:58 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
I think it would be great to require "every" home to have a weather radio..........
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60. kmanislander
4:32 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
Looks as if a low is spinning up near 24N 63W
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15826
59. WeatherMikeToledo
3:43 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
On weather radios:

Great Blog Dr. Masters! I don't live in a mobile home, but became familiar with weather radios when I once worked as security guard for a large stamping plant in my county.

In fact I liked it so much I went out and bought one made by Radio Shack. It has been a bit inconvenient: once or twice I was startled out of a deep sleep in the middle of the night over a tornado watch or flood warning that were not in my area. However, by and large I am glad I have it - most of the time I get the severe weather alerts before the local T.V. or radio stations broadcast them. And if I want to get a detailed weather forecast I just need to push a button.

I whole heartedly encourage everyone to buy one - a good one isn't all that expensive, and it may, like a smoke alarm, save your life and the lives of the ones you love.
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58. weatherboykris
3:25 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
LOL
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57. Inyo
3:20 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
Yeah, years ago i had a weather radio here in CA and didn't know the alarm was on.. it woke me up in the middle of one night to tell me there was a wind advisory in the desert. The desert was 80 miles away and it was dead calm where I was... I turned the alarm off. Granted, I live in California where tornados rarely do enough damage to be that big of a deal, and aren't forecast well anyway. Still, it is good to know that they are more specific now.

that being said, I agree with Dr Masters in that if there's no where to go, what point does it serve? "WAKE UP! YOURE SCREWED!!!!!" alarms aren't that great
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56. auburn (Mod)
10:21 AM CDT on April 27, 2007
I just want my weather radio to pick up...and my cell phone and my stereo ...I live in a bad spot for RF reception...of any kind it seems...LOL
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55. weatherboykris
3:19 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
This is a very good law,that could in theory set a precedent in terms of emergency prepardness laws.I wonder how many more states will begin trying to improve their emergency systems and responses.
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54. Drakoen
3:14 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
heres the link for the GFS http://www.wunderground.com/modelmaps/maps.asp?model=NAM&domain=US under model click gfs under domain click tropical atlantic, then "add map" use the animation.
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53. RL3AO
10:11 AM CDT on April 27, 2007
Wheres the link to the GFS and other models?
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52. dubyasee
3:05 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
The weather radio I just purchased (Midland WR-300) is SAME programmable and allows you to pick which alerts it sounds an alarm for. I made it so that only Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, Tornado Watch & Warnings sound an alarm. We've had some rough weather here in Texas of late so it's been tested thoroughly.
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51. Drakoen
3:06 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
still the GFS is showing development in the frist week of MAY
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50. Levi32
7:04 AM AKDT on April 27, 2007
Actually Drakoen, the GFS is forecasting higher shear than what it initialized with. In fact there's some initialization error, because the GFS has shear values currently at 10 knots or lower over the western Caribbean, which is obviously not the case.

I have to go now guys. Later everyone!
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
49. Drakoen
3:00 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
the gfs is also predicitng low shear values for the area that it has developing.
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48. ryang
10:45 AM AST on April 27, 2007
Drakoen you have mail...
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47. Drakoen
2:44 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
the GFS model is predicting about 3 systems one in the pacific and two in the atlantic near the bahamas. the other one is near panama.
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46. weatherguy03
10:40 AM EDT on April 27, 2007
My Mom asked me that question. Where would I go? She is in a Mobile Home and thats what she asked me when I got her a Weather Radio. I told her get outside and get in the ditch! She is 81. You could imagine the look on her face.
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45. Drakoen
2:36 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
the low is over columbia that blob has even lesser of a chance. and you can see the dry air in the water vapor imagery showing the shear.
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44. ryang
10:35 AM AST on April 27, 2007
How much lows do you see???LOL

LinkLink
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43. fredwx
10:30 AM EDT on April 27, 2007
chessrascal

I live in Hillsborough County, FL and during the summer thunderstorm season that thing would be sounding off just too many times. At least now I could tune it just to my county which is better than the entire forecast area of Tampa Bay.
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42. ryang
10:32 AM AST on April 27, 2007
...A 1008 MB
LOW IS CENTERED OVER N COLOMBIA NEAR 10N94W. SCATTERED MODERATE
TO ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTION IS FROM 8N-11N BETWEEN 73W-80W.
ALSO...CENTRAL AMERICA FROM PANAMA TO GUATEMALA HAS AREAS OF
SCATTERED SHOWERS MOVING W WITH THE TRADEWINDS.
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41. Drakoen
2:31 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
hmm. looks like the low is around columbia is it on or of shore?
oh yea and the shear needs to come down to at least 5-10 mph and that being extremely opimistic.
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40. RL3AO
9:30 AM CDT on April 27, 2007
Go west blob not north. You have a no shear zone 200 miles west!
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39. ryang
10:30 AM AST on April 27, 2007
Drakoen that blob ever looked good before now...LOL
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38. Levi32
6:30 AM AKDT on April 27, 2007
Jeez,and it's only April....LOL

That's exactly my point! LOL
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
37. ryang
10:27 AM AST on April 27, 2007
Just don't let the so called "blob" start controlling your minds.......LOL. I'm kidding

Jeez,and it's only April....LOL
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36. Levi32
6:28 AM AKDT on April 27, 2007
That's true RL3AO it would have better chances in the Pacific. However when the waters near Panama (I forget the name of that bay) generate an area of convection it usually likes to hold on to its property lol.
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35. Drakoen
2:26 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
lol the blob is firing back up and it looks gooid
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34. RL3AO
9:27 AM CDT on April 27, 2007
If only the blob could cross thru the Panama canal, then it would have a chance.
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33. Levi32
6:26 AM AKDT on April 27, 2007
Lol...yes I know. I do that a lot too :) Just don't let the so called "blob" start controlling your minds.......LOL. I'm kidding
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
32. ryang
10:24 AM AST on April 27, 2007
Yes Levi,we are just blob watching...LOL
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31. ryang
10:22 AM AST on April 27, 2007
SSTs are some what favorable....Link
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30. RL3AO
9:22 AM CDT on April 27, 2007
Your right, it 25 knots shear (which is already high), but its drifting closer to the 35 knots area.
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29. Levi32
6:21 AM AKDT on April 27, 2007
Actually, 25-30 knots of shear IS high. Too high for development of that blob. It's still just a sustained region of vertical motion, which the waters near Panama are known for generating. Only 1 out of every 20 of those actually develop, and somehow I don't think one of those is this one.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
28. chessrascal
2:19 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
i agree it is definetly getting a lot of shear

i doubt it will make it but it is still fun to watch
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27. ryang
10:18 AM AST on April 27, 2007
map

Shear is only 20-25K,thats not high!!
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26. chessrascal
2:18 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
Link

Heres the infrared loop

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/carb/loop-avn.html

You can see the northern clouds are starting to get sheared from W to E.


heres a link
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25. chessrascal
2:16 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
we will have to just wait and see if it can pull itself together but it does look a lot better than it did last evening then it was looking kind of sickly. :)
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24. RL3AO
9:16 AM CDT on April 27, 2007
Heres the infrared loop

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/carb/loop-avn.html

You can see the northern clouds are starting to get sheared from W to E.
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23. Alleyoops
10:01 AM EDT on April 27, 2007
Thank you Dr Masters. I would like to see it manditory for everyone living in storm prone areas to own one and have it part of your household insurance policy to have it. Too many lives are being lost because of little or no warning of impending and potentially dangerous weather. Its better to suffer through a false alarm than it is to lose a loved one. I would also like to see all churches, and public buildings have one as well. When new public facilities are being built, they should have some kind of shelter included in their plans especially in high danger zones.

The object of alert radios is to save lives, lets make sure we have a place of shelter to go to after the warning. Trailer parks are not set up as yet but that should be a priority of the owner of these parks to make sure there is a place of safety since living in trailers is becoming more and more common now especially in areas hit by Katrina.

If federal money is available, then by all means, do it and do it soon...Saving lives is the biggest priority one should consider.
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22. ryang
10:16 AM AST on April 27, 2007
map

PS:This map does not update it self!!
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21. chessrascal
2:15 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
i have mine on Voice except for the day of the test.
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20. ryang
10:15 AM AST on April 27, 2007
the winds are picking up on the Quickscat but i still dont see a circulation

It has a nice round shape though...
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19. RL3AO
9:14 AM CDT on April 27, 2007
We can refer to it as Blob 01L

:)
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18. chessrascal
2:14 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
u can turn it on Tone Voice or Lights
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17. chessrascal
2:13 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
the winds are picking up on the Quickscat but i still dont see a circulation
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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