Explorations: Forecasting the Parsons Company Tornado
The story of forecasting the Parsons Company tornado was based on the author’s joint interview with Chris Miller, Warning Coordination meteorologist, and Llyle Barker, Science and Operations Officer at the NWS Central Illinois Forecast Office, in Lincoln, Illinois.
Information from three research papers on the Forecast Office’s Case Studies and Local Research Web page also was used. The papers are:
- Llyle J. Barker III, et al., “The July 13, 2004 Parsons Tornado Event: The Contribution of Evolving Paradigms and Human Factors in the Warning Process (PDF file)”
- Ed Shimon, et al., “The July 13, 2004 Tornado Event: Analysis of Tornadogenesis in a Highly Unstable Environment (PDF file)”
- Chris Miller, et al., “The July 13, 2004 Roanoke Illinois Tornado Event: The Warning Response Process at the Parsons Company (PDF file)”
The NWS Central Illinois Forecast Office also has a collection of photos and information about the tornado and the rebuilding of the factory. The NWS Storm Prediction Center’s role in the forecast is described. Current severe storm watches and outlooks are available on the center’s Web site.