In addition to extreme heat, tornadoes, and hurricanes, flooding was one of the top 5 causes of weather fatalities in the U.S. during the 10-year period of 2003-2012. Don't become a statistic! Pass along your flood safety knowledge to your entire family and neighborhood.
Today's theme in our week-long Severe Weather Awareness blog series is tornadoes.
Spring is often referred to as tornado season, so it's especially important to know the tell-tale signs of an approaching tornado as well as where you should go to seek shelter from it before you need to put these actions into use.
Many states will be practicing their statewide tornado drills this week. While there's no reason to be alarmed, residents are encouraged to seek shelter just as they would if an actual tornado was imminent. If you're a resident of Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, or South Carolina, expect to hear the air raid sirens sometime today.
To learn what date and time your state's drill is scheduled for, you can check the NWS Preparedness Events Calendar, or simply tune into your local evening news.
Today kicks off Severe Weather Awareness Week 2014 in the U.S., and there's no better question to begin the preparedness conversation than, Do you have a weather radio at home, at work, or at your school?
Weather radios are a lifesaving tool that keep you connected with the weather situation outside your front door--even when that weather interrupts your connection with the rest of the world (loss of electricity). If you don't currently own a weather radio, add purchasing one to this week's "To Do" list. If you're unable to purchase one, don't simply make-do without it. Local TV stations and stores often set up donation programs this time of year to serve the weather radio needs of their communities. Contact your local officials for details in your area.
Already have a weather radio? There's homework for you as well. Plan to set aside 10 minutes of your time today to find it, dust it off, and refresh the batteries. (NWS suggests changing batteries at least every spring and fall.)
Although spring doesn't officially begin for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere until March 20, we here at About Weather are celebrating early!
Well, according to the weather world, spring actually starts on March 1.
Did you know...
- After a tornado warning is issued, you only have about 13 minutes to seek safety before the tornado arrives at your location?
- If you can hear thunder, you're close enough to the thunderstorm to be struck by lightning.
- It only takes 6 inches of rapidly moving flood waters to stall your car, or knock you off of your feet?
If you don't know, then Severe Weather Preparedness Week is the perfect time to find out!
This January, a series of cold Arctic air outbreaks, dubbed the polar vortex, brought some of the coldest air the eastern U.S. has felt in years. But here's some food for thought: as bitterly cold as these temperatures were (as low as -20s°F in the upper tier states), according to the National Climatic Data Center, not one state had it's coldest January on record. A bit surprising, considering listening to the grumblings of news anchors, neighbors, and coworkers you would have thought we were in the 15-19th century Little Ice Age.
I think all of this proves one thing about us Americans -- thanks to a long streak of relatively mild winters, we have essentially become winter weather wimps.
This headline may come as a shock to Americans whose eastern half of the nation endured extreme cold and repeated intrusions of the polar vortex all January long. But as can be seen from the sea of pinks and reds on the map above, it was a very different January for the rest of the planet.
Why is it that the average person dislikes winter and winter weather?
Take the poll and find out!