There are a lot of video games and computer software out there that can give you at least a small taste of what it's like to sit in a cockpit and fly a plane, but sadly, there is no version of Madden Football 10 for wannabe meteorologists.
(Hint to EA Sports -- I'd buy one if there were! Just think of the exciting cold front simulation possibilities, where you have to advance against the defense of a strong ridge of high pressure! Boom!)
But wait! National Weather Service meteorologists in Peachtree City, Georgia to the rescue.
Their office has created a National Weather Service Warning Decision Simulator, where they take actual radar situations from past storm outbreaks, but it's up to you to make the call when and where to issue the vital warnings, and get them out in a timely matter -- it's no good to issue the tornado warning after the tornado has already flattened a neighborhood.
Some basic knowledge of meteorology helps, especially in how to read a radar, but for you weather geeks here, it'll be right up you alley, even if you don't live in tornado alley.
You can play the "game" at srh.noaa.gov, although it was very real to the meteorologists who were on staff these nights. But it gives a little insight into what meteorologists go through on those stormy nights where lives and property are at stake (and is also another illustration of an advantage of living in the Pacific Northwest, where thankfully we don't deal with these types of weather scenarios.)
Get your friends to play, and post your best scores in the comments below. You can even leave it as three initials for you old school arcade types -- I promise not to pull the plug overnight :)
Play The Simulation