National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Comments from our customers regarding our performance during the November 10, 2002 tornado outbreak

From Jack Kelly, the Director of the National Weather Service:
Looking back at the [NWS's] 2002 accomplishments, Kelly highlighted the agency's actions associated with the Van Wert, OH, tornado episode, which occurred November 10, 2002, as a success for the entire weather community. "It represented success at every level," he said, "including data acquisition and processing, numerical modeling, warning operations, and dissemination." He also noted the vital role played by those in research, academia, the media, and emergency management. "Users responded to our warnings and, by doing so, saved lives," said Kelly.

All too often the National Weather Service is "blamed" for low lead times or tornadoes that form out of nowhere. I am an Air Force meteorologist and I know how frustrating severe weather can be.  I hope the public realizes what an outstanding job the folks at (Northern Indiana)  have done and the number of lives (you) saved. (You) are true heroes and deserve every recognition.  Great Job.

Dan S.

Excellent performance by you and your office during the recent outbreak. You saved many lives. Congratulations on a job well done.

Clay M.

Nice (radar) images off your offices website.

Brad K.

It goes without saying the lives that were saved November 10th, 2002, with the precise storm tracking and tornado warnings from the NWS. The wealth of accurate and continually updated information on NOAA radio, NOAA website and television was udprecedented in my many years of storm tracking and chasing.

Thanks again for your life saving information.

Mike M.

A job well done!  A superb job done by all yesterday with not only great lead times, but also an amazing job on assimilating all that info onto your website so quickly. A pat on the back deserved for you and all of the (Northern Indiana) team.  The worst did come to pass and you all passed with flying colors.

Evan B.

I just wanted to thank the personnel at the Northern Indiana Office in Syracuse IN for their lifesaving work yesterday. Your timely and accurate warnings made sure that a lot of people are alive today.  Thanks again.

Barry B.

I just wanted to thank you for the fantastic job you did on Sunday during the tornado outbreak. The lead time in sending out warnings was, without question, responsible for saving many lives, especially at the movie theatre in Van Wert County, Ohio.

Jeff Y.

I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how outstanding I thought your coverage was of the recent severe weather event in
northeast Indiana/northwest Ohio. It looks like you were updating information at intervals soon after the event...and the information was extensive.

This is not to say that updating the web is the most important part of our jobs...which it isn't. The warning process is job number one...and it appears you handled that well. But...for handling media/customer inquiries following an event like this, the web is a great tool for information dissemination. And your team did a bang up job.

Anyway, just thought you'd like to know that somebody noticed.

John L.

Just wanted to say that (we) were very impressed with how updated you have kept your web page! As far as I could see the IWX website was far and away the most current and up to date of all the offices affected by yesterday's outbreak. And that speaks a lot for your office considering what took place yesterday and the fact that today is a holiday!

Nice job!

Gino I.

Excellent work on the warnings and tornado information.  Also, I think the theater manager in Van Wert should receive some kind of award for his actions which obviously saved lives. This would be an excellent example for other businesses and individuals not only in Ohio but elsewhere, too. Congratulations and thanks again.

Brian D.


I wanted to give a "Five Star Kudos" to you folks at the Northeast Indiana/ Northwest Ohio local forecast office. Your timely warnings,
blasted over NOAA Weather Radio, and 25 minute plus lead times for warnings...

- has allowed children to grow up with their families, get married, have children, and continue their generations

- has allowed parents to have their children with them, see marriages, have grandkids, and all the rest

- has allowed many humans to see, hopefully, many years of mornings and evenings full of wonderful memories.

A theater full of people were protected due to NOAA Weather Radio and your rapid and timely work.

Quite frankly..

If it wasn't for you folks doing your job right, people alive right now wouldn't be.. people who would have been grieving now are together giving hugs and kisses and looking forward to bright futures.

May our Lord bless you all and reward you all for saving lives...and for working so hard to protect the communities in danger.

All of you are heroes, genuine American heroes. You did your job, you did it well... well done.

Jeff M.

Hello, I just wanted to congratulate your office on a job well done during the recent rampage of nasty weather. It is nice to see
meteorologists put in a good light in the media for a change. Thank you for doing a great job,

Matt S.

You guys do a fantastic job with your website. As a former TV weather guy, trained storm spotter, AND broadcaster, it's nice to see things like tornado storm track maps and photos so quickly after a severe weather event. Keep up the good work.

Thanks again,

Brian B.

Very nice updates on your web site. I know for the local media this type of updating and information is extremely helpful.

Paul B.

Just heard the story about the kids in the movie theater who had been given the time to move to safety by the timely and accurate warnings put out by you and your staff.  There is no better example of why (the NWS) exist(s) as an entity than what occurred within your (area of responsibility) yesterday. You all should be proud of yourselves.  Here's hoping the communities stricken by this tragedy bounce back as quickly as possible.

Again, job well done!

Tony C.

A big pat on the back to you all!!!!  Without the warnings and the early lead time, I would not like to think what would have happened.  Nature was truly unhappy Nov. 10th.

Jim H.