We are entering the epicenter of the severe weather season across the United States. The frequency and intensity of storms will increase over the next few weeks and continue into the summer months. Keeping track of forecasts is more important than ever to keep yourself and your family safe. Here are six important things you need to know about inclement weather in the months ahead.
Learn Severe Weather Categories
The Hurricane Prediction Center (SPC) is the branch of the National Weather Service responsible for issuing daily severe weather outlooks. The agency’s clear outlook runs on a six-point scale ranging from “normal, non-severe thunderstorms” to “high risk.”
The names of the six categories – non-severe, marginal, minor, advanced, moderate, high – may sound subjective and a bit confusing, but maps are almost always standardized and color-coded with warm colors that stand for severe. indicate more significant risk. Season.
It’s important to remember that “marginal” and “moderate” like low risk don’t mean you’re in the clear. Disruptive and destructive thunderstorms are still possible on seemingly rough weather days, so always keep your guard up if there is even the slightest risk of severe thunderstorms.
dispel dangerous myths
Tornado myths are one of the most dangerous aspects of severe weather protection. Some of the things and truths we’ve heard all our lives aren’t wrong—they’re harmful to our safety.
There are too many tornado myths that just aren’t true. Tornadoes can hit cities. Tornadoes can cross rivers and cross mountains. Opening windows doesn’t prevent your home from bursting into air. Bridges and overpasses are incredibly unsafe during a tornado (they turn into wind tunnels!).
One of the scariest things about a severe weather outbreak is having to look at the comments on any meteorologist’s post to see if they read “Where am I on that map?” Like full of questions. and “Is my city in danger?”
Many meteorologists have made a habit of trying to teach their visitors how to read maps. Some people get offended by this – it sounds condescending! — but there are a staggering number of people who can’t know where they live without their home on the map specifically told them.
Learning the geography of where you live is key to surviving severe weather weather. Everyone needs to know how to find your city and your county on the map.
Know How to Get Alerts Quickly
Your smartphone is equipped with the ability to receive wireless emergency alerts. These free push alerts prove to be life savers during tornado warnings.
Unfortunately, phone manufacturers make it possible to turn these off – something that many people choose to do after a bad time. Enabling wireless emergency alerts is the easiest way to ensure that you can receive a tornado alert for your location the moment one is issued.
There are plenty of reliable weather apps that offer warning services as well, although there is sometimes a slight delay between issuing a warning and actually showing up on your device.
The physical NOAA weather radio is another great way to get clocks and warnings for your county. These devices are like smoke detectors for the weather. You can program your county’s unique six-digit code into the device and it will sound an alarm and read aloud when an alert is issued.
However, there is one common warning method that communities need to move to: tornado sirens.
Tornado sirens are outdoor warning systems that are not meant to be heard indoors. Relying on them can seriously jeopardize your safety. Countless people have been injured or killed during tornadoes because they relied on sirens that either never went off or that they just didn’t hear.
make a mental plan
You are subject to a tornado warning. now what? Like a fire drill, practicing tornado safety beforehand makes the real thing feel like another routine.
Look for some safe places at home, work and school where you can ride out a dangerous storm. The best place to shelter is on the lowest floor of the building with as many walls in and out of you as possible. Take note of a few safe haven places along your daily drive and also the local shops you frequent.
Find a Trustworthy Source
Phone apps are great for checking current conditions and yesterday’s high temperatures, but they’re terrible for context. Severe weather outbreaks require more information than just the temperature and an icon on the app.
A thunderstorm is one of those incidents where a real, live person comes in handy. Your local meteorologist knows the terrain, geography and complex nature of the setup. They can provide important details that you can’t get from most apps. When dangerous storms are in the forecast, look for reliable sources for in-depth weather information. It could save your life.