October 1, 2014

Severe Weather Season/Watches and Warnings

Severe weather season is here.  The prime months for tornadic activity in the midwest are April, May and June, but severe weather such as thunderstorms and tornadoes can actually occur any time of year.

There are two basic terms used regularly by the National Weather Service concerning severe weather, and those terms are WATCHES and WARNINGS.

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH means conditions are favorable for the development of thunderstorm activity in your area, and you should watch for the development of thunderstorms, possibly significant rainfall, high winds, straight line winds, lightning and possibly hail.

A THUNDERSTORM WARNING means severe weather has been spotted on radar or by trained spotters in your area, and you should take immediate action to seek shelter.

A TORNADO WATCH means weather conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in your area, and you should be aware of weather conditions that could develop, by staying tuned to local radio and TV stations for the latest information.

A TORNADO WARNING means a tornado has been spotted on radar, or by trained spotters in your area, and you should seek shelter immediately, preferably in a basement or underground storm shelter.  Stay away from windows, and be sure your family knows what to do in the event that severe weather develops.

With the latest technology, there are a number of applications that can be downloaded to smartphones and other electronic devices.  Contact your local cellular service provider for more information.

It is also a good idea to have a battery operated weather radio that can be tuned to the nearest weather transmitter tower that serves your area.  Currently there are towers in counties all across north Missouri and southern Iowa.

For more information on weather activity, log onto the National Weather Service website www.noaa.gov.