LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Sen. John Boozman is leading a group of lawmakers at the federal level to improve tornado tracking and prediction.
Boozman, with Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker, is leading a group of senators introducing the Tornado Observation Research Notification and Deployment to Operations Act. The legislation would require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to update its prediction and weather alert communications to residents.
Boozman cited the March 31 tornadoes that led to disaster declarations in three Arkansas counties as proof of the need for modernization.
“In Arkansas we are unfortunately very familiar with the devastation brought by severe storms,” Boozman said. “This legislation will modernize how NOAA communicates with the public during natural disasters to help keep Arkansans and all Americans safe and informed.”
Wicker, whose home state had a series of deadly tornadoes on March 27, said the federal government had a “vested interest” in improving forecasting and warning systems.
The bill would require NOAA to submit an action plan, evaluate tornado rating systems and coordinate with local entities for better data collection.
Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Thune (R-SD), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Todd Young (R-IN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Gary Peters (D-MI) joined Boozman and Wicker as cosponsors of the legislation.