Forecasters: “We Can’t Cancel an Event”
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – In the wake of storm-related deaths and injuries at the Indiana State Fair, KMOX News wanted to know what role forecasters play when it comes to outdoor events and severe weather in our region.
“We cannot order anybody to close or cancel an event,” explains Jim Kramper, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis. “We simply will provide weather information and then it’s up to them to make that decision whether or not they need to cancel something or make changes to it.”
Kramper says the weather service coordinates with state and local officials when they ask for guidance. “At what point would they be really concerned? Is it simply lightning or do they need other things like wind or something else?”
Plus he says in recent years the Weather Service has started compiling a list of fairs or festivals. “If our guys see a big storm heading for a certain town and we see the county fair’s going on today, if they feel it’s appropriate and have the manpower to do it, we will make a call to the local authorities.”
Kramper says some event organizers hire private weather forecasters just to advise them on possible storms.
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