Stressors Associated with a First Time Tornado Warning Decision for the June 8, 2017 Supercell in the Panhandle of Texas (166)

Melissa Beat, NOAA/NWS Weather Forecast Office Amarillo, Amarillo, TX

 

Abstract:

Severe weather events can make stressful situations within a National Weather Service (NWS) forecast office. The radar operator can be one of the most stressful positions, more so when deciding whether or not to issue a tornado warning for the first time in one's career. This case study aims to examine the stressors encountered in such a situation. The severe weather event on June 8, 2017 in the Texas Panhandle, when a supercell threatened Amarillo, TX, will be examined. The difficulties of the position are illuminated to groups, such as media or storm-chasers, who may question warning decisions. In addition, the radar operator's coworkers who are well-versed in the decision-making process, are reminded of the difficulties the newer forecaster is undergoing when communication is of key importance to lessening the stressors. Those coworkers who have not yet issued tornado warnings can learn about the stressors that they may be faced with in order to mitigate them when they arise.