FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 27, 2007

Contact: Larry Vannozzi

(615) 754-8500

E-mail: Larry.Vannozzi@noaa.gov

NASHVILLE WEATHER OFFICE TO RECEIVE PRESTIGIOUS AWARD FOR EFFECTIVE WARNINGS DURING THE APRIL 7, 2006 TORNADO OUTBREAK

One year ago, an outbreak of deadly tornadoes swept across Middle Tennessee.

Advance planning and timely warnings from the National Weather Service helped save lives. In recognition of these efforts, the U.S. Department of Commerce will award its Bronze Medal to the NOAA National Weather Service Office in Nashville. The award recognizes the staff for providing proactive and life saving warning services during the April 7, 2006 killer tornado outbreak in Middle Tennessee. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Nashville weather office provided tornado warnings to Middle Tennessee with an average lead time of 14 minutes. Lives were saved at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin.  The college received the warning on NOAA Weather Radio and enacted its safety plan.  Despite about 450 people on campus, only one college-related person was injured as the F3 tornado struck the college. The rest of Gallatin, where 8 deaths occurred, had 14 to 17 minutes of warning before the tornado struck.

The National Weather Service staff overcame communications and power outages, and continued working while some of their homes and loved ones were in the path of the deadly tornadoes.  Davis Nolan, WKRN Channel 2 meteorologist wrote, “There would be many more fatalities without their efforts. Our lives are a whole lot safer because of them.”  Scott Harris of the Nashville Office of Emergency Management said, “You guys were excellent!”

Larry Vannozzi, Meteorologist-in-charge of the Nashville office will accept the award at a ceremony to be held in Washington, D.C. on May 11th. This will be the office’s second Bronze Medal. The first was awarded for excellent performance during the tornado outbreak of 1998.

The staff of the National Weather Service in Nashville can provide presentations to schools and civic groups about the April 7th tornadoes and other Middle Tennessee weather events. Storm spotter classes are also available to help prepare for this severe weather season.  For more information about presentations or training, contact Jerry Orchanian at 615-754-8500. Learn how to protect your family with life saving warnings from NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards. Visit http://www.weather.gov/nwr/


USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.