Quicker twister warnings

Technologies designed to improve tornado-warning times for Georgia citizens

are operating in three Atlanta locations.

The Severe Storms Research Center at Georgia Tech University was established

last spring after a recommendation from a governmental task force. The Georgia

Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the

Georgia General Assembly and a grant from Bell South Business Systems fund

the center.

Systems testing began in northern Georgia last week to coincide with the

state's Severe Weather Awareness Week, said GEMA director Gary McConnell.

"The work of this research center in studying Georgia-specific weather conditions

and exploring new technologies will have a major impact in reducing the

deaths and serious injuries caused by severe weather," McConnell said in

a release.

Three Warning Decision Support Systems funded by the SSRC, two at the Georgia

Tech Research Institute and the other at the Peachtree City National weather

Service office, are being used to determine if tornado recognition logic

can be better used to predict storms in the Southeast. The technology being

used includes: advanced image processing, artificial intelligence, as well

as Doppler radar data, which has increased warning times in the Great Plains

states.

After the technology has been tested in the northern part of the state,

it will be exported to southern Georgia if money is available, SSRC director

Gene Greneker said.

"If we are successful, these technologies could complement the Doppler radars

operated by the National Weather Service," Greneker said in a release.

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