National Weather Service looks at timeline for Tuesday’s tornado

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The National Weather Service is taking a closer look at the timeline for Tuesday’s tornado warning in Sampson County.


Some are critical that a warning came too late or not at all.

“We never got an alert period, not a one,” said Teresa Palmer, of Autryville. “Even afterwards, we never got one.”

RELATED: Tornado with 110 mph winds rips through Autryville, cleanup now underway

“These things are very difficult to pinpoint and to see in real time,” said Jason Franklin, the meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service in Raleigh.

Franklin says the first damage in Autryville happened at 4:38 p.m.

Trained spotters confirmed the tornado to the weather service at 4:48 p.m.

The tornado warning was issued at 4:56 p.m.


“It takes a few minutes to get the warning prepared and that type of thing. So, once the report got to us, we saw where the storm was,” said Franklin. “We had a better awareness of what was happening in Autryville and then we issued the warning.”

Franklin said sometimes rotation on a radar does not produce an actual tornado.

He said, as with any storm, the National Weather Service will evaluate its communication with its trained spotters in the field.

“We do our best,” he said. “Our mission is to save lives and property. We go back. We look through. We train. We make sure that something like this does not happen again. We learn from these types of events.”

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