FAQ

TORNADOLERT detects tornado infrasound wind noise which provides faster and more reliable tornado alerts than those from National Weather Service spotters.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:  Why are tornado warnings that are greater than 20 minutes often false alarms?

Answer:   Tornados lose strength on average after traveling about 10 miles (20 minutes) so that tornado warnings greater than 20 minutes are often false alarms. 

Question:  Why is TORNADOLERT so reliable?

Answer:   Every tornado radiates audible sound and also inaudible infrasound. Tornado infrasound travels hundreds of miles without loss while tornado audible sound dissipates after a short distance. TORNADOLERT is calibrated to detect tornado infrasound within a 10 mile range. 

Question:  Why is the National Weather Service (NWS) tornado warning system less reliable than TORNADOLERT?

Answer:   Radar cannot detect tornados. The NEXRAD radar detects thunderstorms likely to produce tornados. Then NWS alerts SKYWARN volunteers to search visibly for tornados. However, tornados occurring at night and in heavy rain are almost invisible. TORNADOLERT tornado infrasound detection is unaffected by environmental conditions. 

Question:  Why are lightning-based tornado warnings often inaccurate?

Answer:  Lightning is produced by thunderstorms but only 10% of thunderstorms produce tornados. Thus, 90% of lightning-based tornado warnings are inaccurate. 

Tornadolert at work- Video

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