Severe Weather Awareness Week

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If you watched any of my late weathercasts last night, you may have seen me reference that this week is going to be Severe Weather Awareness week. This week is an annual occurrence and for many passes without too many thoughts. I think this year, especially in light of what has happened in the country over the past couple of years with the devastating EF5 and EF4 tornadoes, that perhaps you might want to pay a bit more attention to the significance of the week and what it is there to do.

Sort of a good week to have it as a matter of fact. Not expecting any severe weather, but we are expecting a lot of warm and moist air to stay with us all week long. It’s really going to feel like spring and the one thing that will be missing for springtime storms is a large trigger to get the warm moist air moving upwards. that may occur as we head towards the first day or so of calendar spring in about a wee or so.

In the meantime lets talk preparedness. With all this extra free time you have, I want you to think about what you would do this second IF a tornado warning was issued. Does your family know what to do? Do your children know what to do? Odds are you probably have a good idea where you should be in your residence. If you don’t, then here are some resources that you should check out.

This link is especially important for those of you who live in mobile homes. A quick study on the deaths caused by the big tornadoes earlier in the month indicate that 2/3rds of the people who died from the tornadoes were killed in mobile/manufactured homes. There are some who may argue that since 1976 standards have been increased which is great. There are others who argue that mobile homes with tie downs have helped out…which is great too. The thing is is that far too many deaths still happen in these structures. Regardless of the “upgrades” they just don’t have the integrity to hold up during high winds. Do yourself and your family proud and learn a safety plan should the worse happen.

Next question for you…do you know the difference between a watch and a warning? I know sounds crazy right…well studies show that about have of the viewers DON’T know the difference. There was a movement over the past 6-8 months to actually add a level of warnings to the process, in an effort to try to weed out the lower rung events a bit and punch up the higher end events even more. While this thought sort of withered on the vine in the end, one argument against it was that people have a tough enough issue knowing the difference between watches/warnings, how in the world will they figure out this next layer of information? It was tough to fight that argument. Learn that’s my mantra for the spring. Learn that a Watch means what it says to be alert for severe weather and a warning means to take action and utilize your safety plan that you’ve put into place.

Finally, I’m begging you, if you don’t know, or perhaps you know somebody who doesn’t…learn what county you live in and make sure they know as well…whether young or old. For extra credit learn the counties immediately to the west and SW of you as well so that when bad weather threatens and is moving your way, you’ll understand the maps/crawl information that all the TV stations show you when warnings are issued.

In many ways severe weather preparedness is up to you. I can tell you a lot of stuff and back it up with all sorts of statistics, but in the end it’s up to you to have a plan and execute it.

I couldn’t leave you without a quick check of some of the rainfall totals from the region thanks to yesterday’s soaking rainfall. First the northside.

Now a little farther south.

Finally even farther south…


KCI is now up to about 4 1/4″ of precipitation this year which is well above average after picking up .56″ of rainfall from the storm yesterday.

Have a great day and as skies clear later this AM/early afternoon watch those temperatures pop to near 70°! See yesterday’s blog for the record highs for the week…we may nudge close to a couple!

Joe “Go Billikens” Lauria


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