Public understanding of local tornado characteristics and perceived protection from land-surface features in Tennessee, USA
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Public understanding of local tornado characteristics and perceived protection from land-surface features in Tennessee, USA
  • Published Date:

    2019

  • Source:
    PLOS ONE, 14(7), e0219897
Filetype[PDF-1.32 MB]


Details:
  • Alternative Title:
    Public understanding of local tornado characteristics and perceived protection from land-surface features in Tennessee, USA
  • Description:
    Misunderstandings about the influence of land-surface features on tornado frequency and other tornado-related misconceptions may affect how people prepare for and behave during hazardous weather events. This research uses a phone survey (n = 1804) to assess how participants in three regions of Tennessee perceive their local tornado characteristics (i.e., direction of travel, seasonality, and diurnal timing) and their belief in protection from land-surface features (i.e., hills, water bodies, and buildings). Region of residence influences most beliefs in local tornado characteristics, and demographic characteristics, specifically age and gender, also have some influence. Residents in hilly East Tennessee are more likely to believe they are protected by hills and underestimate the proportion of nocturnal tornadoes, while residents in West Tennessee are more likely to believe they are protected by water bodies, perhaps because of proximity to the Mississippi River. Outside of the typical severe-weather season, participants were uncertain of when tornadoes were likely to occur; specifically, they did not recognize their local wintertime tornado activity. Because public perceptions are related to local features, local organizations and personnel, for example National Weather Service offices and broadcast meteorologists, may be most helpful in dispelling these misconceptions.
  • DOI:
    10.1371/journal.pone.0219897
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6656349
  • Document Type:
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