Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tornado safety day & winter... not done with us yet

EF-1 tornado just northwest of Dayton, OH on Monday
Severe Weather Awareness Week continues and today is the day we focus on tornadoes. Sirens will sound at 6:30 for most of the state. That is a change from previous years when the sirens would sound at 1 p.m. in the afternoon. The change in time was to allow families a chance to practice at home instead of at work or at school. Most of the time, the tornado drill does not happen during spring break, but that's how it all lined up this year.

When it comes to tornado safety, think "DUCK". Sounds funny, but the letters each represent something very important when it comes to saving your life during tornadoes. Most of us know what to do when we are at home, but what do you do when caught in your vehicle? An apartment several stories off the ground?

In your vehicle: new research suggests you can try to ride out a tornado in your car if you buckle the seat belt and duck below the windows. If the option is there, you can try to drive at a 90 degree angle from the tornado to get out of its path. In extreme situations, you can also get down into a ditch to protect yourself from flying debris.

In an apartment: If you live in an apartment that is several stories high, it is suggested that you try to get to lower levels if possible. If time isn't on your side, get into a small closet or bathroom to ride out the storm.

On average, which states have the most tornadoes?
This map may surprise you, but Kansas ranks 2nd. Our 65 year average is 60-70 tornadoes per year with the 10 year average closer to 100.

Late Week Cold Snap:
We still have some colder weather headed to Kansas at the end of the week. Based on new model trends, it's looking less and less likely that we will have much more than a sprinkle or flurry on Friday. The storm system is approaching from the northwest, and that is not a favorable direction for storms to move in and produce any heavy precipitation. But, it still looks rather chilly and there are a couple of mornings where temperatures will fall into the 20s.

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