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Published paper links ULM weather radar and prevention of natural disaster loss

Published August 3, 2022

ULM Doppler Radar

MONROE, LA – A recent paper published in the National Weather Association's "Journal of Operational Meteorology" by the University of Louisiana Monroe analyzed the impact of tornados that formed on April 12, 2020, in Monroe.

This event produced two EF-3 tornadoes that destroyed 23 homes and damaged 458 homes. The used casualty model suggests a $39 million in economic savings from the expected versus actual casualty losses.
The research results found 0 casualties, including injuries and fatalities, directly attributed to the tornado. This scenario could expect at least 19 casualties, suggesting that improved low-level coverage provided by the ULM polarimetric Doppler weather radar greatly assisted the National Weather Service warning operations in issuing a better tornado warning lead time. 
"Analysis of the 12 April 2020 Northern Louisiana Tornadic QLCS," was co-authored by Associate Professor and Atmospheric Science Program Coordinator Todd A. Murphy, Assistant Professor of Geosciences, Tyler Fricker, and university students Tessa Stetzer and Lauren Walker, along with National Weather Service meteorologists Brad Bryant and Charles Woodrum.
The paper examines the event by looking at the evolution of the pre-tornadic environment and the tornadic circulation, estimating tornado intensity using a variety of traditional and new methods, and finally applying a casualty model to the storm survey data. 

"This paper shows for the first time the type of economic impact the ULM radar has for our region. The ULM data-sharing partnerships with surrounding NWS offices have led to numerous positive outcomes since the radar became operational and is a model that could be used in other radar gaps across the country," Murphy said.
Some analyses were based on UAS flights of the tornado track provided by Paul Karlowitz and Stephanie Robinson from the ULM UAS program. The full publication can be accessed via https://doi.org/10.15191/nwajom.2022.1004