Severe Weather Season is here. Being informed could save your life.
The Spring Severe Weather Season usually runs from March to around mid May in our area.
The peak seems to be from early April to mid May.
As the spring season fades and summer weather begins the severe threat moves north away from the Four States Area.
During the spring it is especially important to stay informed and aware of potential severe weather.
First lets look at the different types of weather advisories. These are basically under two headings. There are watches and warnings.
A severe thunderstorm or tornado watch simply means conditions are favorable for the formation of severe thunderstorms or tornadoes. If a watch is issued you should monitor radio and the internet to keep abreast of the formation of such storms, and be prepared to get to a place of shelter and safety should the forecast materialize.
A severe thunderstorm or tornado warning means that such a storm has formed and has been detected on radar or visually spotted. If a warning is issued you should take shelter and get to a safe place immediately because the storm may be imminent.
The definition of a severe thunderstorm according to the National Weather Service is a cell that is either producing winds of 58 miles per hour or better. It also could include hail of one inch diameter or better. Obviously there is likely to be frequent and potentially deadly lightning and torrential rain.
Tornado warnings are issued when the thunderstorm shows rotation inside it, or a tornado or funnel cloud has been spotted by observers.
It is best to find a safe place to ride out the storm. If possible get in the lowest floor of a sturdy structure, as close to the center of the building, away from windows and glass that could cause serious injury. It is advised if you are caught in a tornado and can not get to shelter, get to an open area as far away from trees and vehicles as you can and lie flat on the ground, covering your head if possible. Winds in the most extreme tornadoes can escalate to over 200 miles and hour or better. Most deaths in tornadoes are attributed to being struck by flying debris.
Its a good idea to have an emergency kit or supplies handy in case something like this ever happens in your area.
It would include at least one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation. Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both. Flashlight and extra batteries.
Besides severe thunderstorm and tornado watches and warnings, there could also be flash flood watches or warnings issued in the Spring Severe Weather Season. Once again a watch would mean conditions are favorable for thunderstorms that could cause excessive enough rainfall to cause a flash flood. A warning is issued when flash flooding is occurring or is imminent.
If your area is prone to flooding get to higher ground. Also never attempt to drive through a flooded section of roadway. It’s often impossible to tell the depth of the water. Your vehicle can either stall or be swept away. It does not take much water to cause you to lose control of the vehicle. The National Weather Service says turn around don’t drown, when it comes to flooded roadways.
Lastly, remember if you are outside and it begins to thunder, its a good idea to go inside. Lightning has been known to strike as far away as ten miles from the actual center of a thunderstorm. So don’t think just because it’s not raining where you are, you can’t be hit by lightning.
Throughout the Severe Weather Season stay tuned to Fox Sports Texarkana 97.1 fm, 1400 am, and Foxsportstexarkana.com.
We will keep you informed when it comes to severe weather.