Today is the first day of Spring. Unfortunately the season is known for severe weather events that could be dangerous and potentially deadly. This is Severe Weather Preparedness Week. Dave Tucek with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis says this time of the year, residents should keep an eye on the forecast, but also be aware that severe weather can strike at any time.
“We have had tornadoes in every month of the year; we’ve had severe storms in every month of the year, although our prime times are April through June – and a secondary peak occurring in the November time frame, like we saw November 17 of last year,” said Tucek.
Tucek says thunderstorms can produce very strong winds and possibly tornadoes, along with lightning, which is the nation’s number two weather killer. Very heavy rain can also lead to flash flooding. The National Weather Service will conduct a statewide test of communication systems today. The first will take place between 10 and 10:15 a.m. EDT, and the second one will occur between 7 and 7:30 p.m. EDT.
“The one that takes place in the morning, we try to capture the kids in school, so they get a chance to practice what they are supposed to do at school. And then we hold the next drill during the early evening, to try to get the children to practice the plan at home with their family,” said Tucek.
Tucek says it’s important to be ready to act and go to a safe spot when warnings or watches are issued. And now, Hoosiers can even stay informed through wireless emergency alerts on a smart phone.
“If you are in a location that’s under a tornado warning, your smart phone will alert you with a very loud, very distinguishable audible alarm, as well as a unique vibration or shake,” said Tucek.
A ‘watch’ means conditions are favorable for a thunderstorm, flood or tornado, and a ‘warning’ means one of those events is occurring or likely to occur soon. At that point, Tucek advises tuning in to weather information on local television or radio.