KATC’s Dave Baker Says We Are Fortunate To Have Prep Time For Hurricanes
Meteorologist Dave Baker from KATC TV-3 joined 'Mornings With Ken and Bernie' today to compare and contrast hurricanes and tornadoes in the wake of the Moore, Oklahoma disaster. Technology and methods of hurricane prediction have changed greatly in the last few years. According to Baker,
I've been here since 1994 and when I was predicting tropical systems during the beginning of my career in South Louisiana you would have these hurricane watches that would go up from Corpus Christi all the way to Tampa. Now that area, that 'cone of uncertainty' has shrunk so much...The intensity forecast is much more difficult to predict.
While Oklahoma's 'tornado alley' seems to bear the brunt of storms in the late spring or early summer Baker said tornadoes are more prevalent in our area at other times. Baker said,
January, February, March seem to be prime time for tornadoes here in South Louisiana. We also have a few others in November. Strangely enough this is the second F-5 tornado that has hit Moore, Oklahoma. The first F-5 Moore hit in 1999.
According to Baker we are somewhat fortunate with hurricanes because of advance warnings. As tornadoes form there is little warning for Louisiana residents and very little in the type of shelter available. Baker said,
You should get into the middle of your home or office building and put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. If possible get into a bathtub and cover with heavy blankets or a mattress to protect against flying debris. Flying debris is more dangerous than the actual winds.
Baker urged school systems and school administrators to prepare for tornadoes by enacting tornado drills in addition to fire drills. He noted that schools typically have three to four fire drills per year but not tornado drills.
Dave Baker had more observations and helpful information in this interview: