Fall Severe Weather Season
Fall is the secondary severe weather season for our region. Read more to be prepared before severe weather strikes.
It's the time when temperatures begin to get a little cooler (or at least they will), but it's also the season for severe weather. Although our region seems to be fair game for storms almost all year, the fall is a secondary peak of severe weather for the Local 6 region. That's one reason the National Weather Service calls the week of September 20th Fall Severe Weather Awareness Week, for much of the viewing area. Now is the time to make sure you review or create your safety plan(s), brush up on weather terminology and get those weather radios in good working order.
Here are a few things to help you get prepared for the season:
Key Words in the World of Severe Weather:
Watch vs. Warning:
A WATCH means to be aware that conditions are favorable for severe weather. It serves as a heads up. While there may not be any storms in the area, some may develop and become severe. Watches are usually issued for large areas (generally covering a state or two) and for several hours.
A WARNING means severe weather is already occuring in part of the warned area or is likely to very soon. These are usually issued for about an hour or less, and a much smaller area than a watch.
In the case of a SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING, it means a storm is (or could likely) produce winds of at least 58 mph and/or hail of at least 1" in diameter.
A TORNADO WARNING means either National Weather Service radar has indicated rotation or trained spotters have reported a tornado.
Having a Plan
The most important thing to do, before severe weather takes aim on our area, is to get a plan in place. This includes putting together a survival kit -- anything you may need to survive a widespread disaster. It's better to be prepared and not need it, than to wish you had it and be too late. Make sure you and your family know the safe places to go and where to meet, after the storm moves through. The safest place, during any storm, is an interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy structure.
A weather radio is a very important tool in severe weather safety. This is especially true, during the overnight hours. If a warning is issued, the radio will send out a tone to alert you. These radios are still available through WPSDLocal6.com, at a discount rate.
These are just a few key things to keep in mind. Hopefully these tips will help you to prepare for the wide range of weather our region is no stranger to.