FLOWOOD, Miss. (February 16, 2013)--New technology helped forecasters in Mississippi to confirm the tornado that tore through Hattiesburg this week and alert the public more quickly, officials said.
The Dual-polarization Doppler technology allowed forecasters to see the shape and size of debris inside the tornado.
In the past, forecasters have generally relied on visual reports of tornadoes, which are difficult to get at night, but because of the new technology, they were able to issue warnings confirming the tornado and give people time to get to safety.
Dozens of injuries were reported from tornadoes that struck south Mississippi this week, but no fatalities.
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Robert Latham said he believes the new technology helped prevent tornado-related deaths.
National Weather Service offices throughout the country are being updated with the new technology.