to the event and how those conditions resulted in a first top temperatures to provide "auto estimation," or an ever excessive heat warning in Chicago. In spite of the instantaneous estimate. The problem with using sat- extremely accurate forecast, however, over 700 people ellite imagery for estimating rainfall is that validation is very difficult, especially over the oceans where data died due to heat-related conditions. is sparse or unavailable. The high death toll lead the city to form a commis- On 15 May 2000, the chapter held another meeting sion to study the event. Dailey represented the NWS with guest speaker Ethan Gibney. Gibney is a master's on multiple committees, providing climatological data student from The Florida State University, Department that would be merged with morbidity data to formu- of Geography, and he presented a seminar titled "An late the basis for a revised heat advisory system. Wilhelm brought his perspective from the Department Analysis of Tropical Cyclone Vulnerability Utilizing of Public Health to many of those same committees. a Geographic Information System (GIS) and How Such Technology Could Benefit the National Hurri- As Dailey and Wilhelm merged databases and cane Center." worked through numerous committee meetings, a re- Gibney observed that with an increase in coastal vised heat warning system was developed, as well as development and population, there is an increased po- a coordinated effort utilizing the National Weather Ser- tential for unprecedented losses. Although close ex- vice to trigger action, and the city's command center amination of the historical record indicates that U.S. to coordinate efforts between various city departments tropical cyclone activity (tropical cyclones making and agencies. The warning process has noticeably re- landfall in the United States) has remained relatively duced the number of heat-related deaths in the area constant through time, losses from these events have during extreme heat events. been climbing rapidly. With researchers now predict- Wilhelm concluded with an outline of continued ing an increase in the occurrence of major hurricane work drawing from lessons learned in using the revised activity in the near future, it is quite possible that we warning criteria and procedures. Future steps include are entering a period where multibillion dollar losses dealing with some of the social issues of urbanization, are the norm rather than the exception. in particular isolation of senior citizens, and effective In his study, Gibney used a GIS to highlight those intervention skills to get help to people that may be areas particularly vulnerable to damage from tropical reluctant to seek assistance from the city, family, or cyclones. Coastal counties were identified and subse- friends. quently ranked according to their vulnerability to one The meeting concluded with introduction of offic- another resulting in a "relative vulnerability index." ers for the coming year. Mark Carroll will serve as Such indices are useful to virtually all sectors of emer- president, Bob Wonderling as vice president, William gency management—local, state, and federal. This in- Johnson as secretary, and Ray Waldman as trea- formatio n will allow emergency managers and surer.—Dave Kleckner. • community officials to focus their mitigation efforts on those areas where the greatest losses are possible. Most importantly, GIS is a valuable tool that will aid the National Hurricane Center in its efforts to educate its customers within both the public and private sec- tors, on tropical cyclone preparedness and protection issues.—Fiona Horsfall. Chicago 1140 Richard N. Berler 2000 The chapter held its annual banquet meeting on 20 1141 Gil Simmons 2000 May 2000 at the Bohemian Gardens Restaurant in 1142 Timothy A. Haddix 2000 Downers Grove. Featured speakers for the evening 1143 Leslie Hudson 2000 were Paul Dailey, meteorologist in charge, NWS Chi- 1144 David Call 2000 cago, and John Wilhelm, M.D., deputy commissioner 1145 Jerry S. Jackson 2000 for the city of Chicago Department of Public Health. The topic for the evening was the extreme heat wave of July 1995 and the lessons learned from it. Dailey described the weather conditions leading up Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 2097
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Sep 1, 2000
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