WACO, Texas (AP) - A Baylor University study shows that rural
residents along the Interstate 35 corridor are less likely to be
warned of severe storms than their urban neighbors.
The findings concern National Weather Service officials.
Weather service warning coordination meteorologist Gary Woodall
in Fort Worth said the problem could be due to less radar coverage
in rural areas and fewer storm spotters. Spotters on the ground are
trained to look for certain storm characteristics such as wall
clouds or rotation.
Baylor graduate student Kevin Barrett and geology professor Don
Greene studied severe thunderstorm warnings issued over a 20-year
period from Jan. 1, 1986, through Dec. 31, 2005 in 132 Texas
counties along I-35.
They discovered that rural counties with small populations were
less likely to be issued a severe thunderstorm warning by the NWS
than urban counties with large population. The report appeared in
Sunday editions of the Waco Tribune-Herald.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)