Governor Rick Snyder has declared April 15th through April 21st as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan. Each day this week... The National Weather Service...in conjunction with the Michigan
Committee for Severe Weather Awareness...will feature statements about the hazards of severe
thunderstorms...tornadoes...and flooding.

Today we discuss some terms you may hear associated with severe weather.

Tornado...a violently rotating column of air trailing from a thunderstorm and in contact with the ground.

Funnel cloud...a violently rotating column of air trailing from a thunderstorm but not in contact with the ground.

Severe thunderstorm... A thunderstorm that produces one or more of the following... Winds of 58 miles an hour or greater... Hail 1 inch in diameter or larger... Or a tornado.

Downburst... A small area of rapidly descending air beneath a thunderstorm. A downburst can cause damaging winds in excess of 100 miles an hour. Also known as straight-line winds.

Flood... An inundation of a normally dry area caused by an increased water level in an established watercourse... Such as a river... Stream... Or drainage ditch.

Flash flood... A flood that quickly inundates an area from locally heavy rainfall. Usually... Flooding will occur within just 30 to 60 minutes and up to a few hours.

Tornado/severe thunderstorm watch... Conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes and/or severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area. Watches are normally issued for 4 to
6 hours... And cover large geographical areas... Such as a part of a state or several states. Remain alert for approaching storms and monitor the weather closely for possible warnings.

Severe thunderstorm warning... Issued when severe weather is imminent. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm. Severe thunderstorm warnings are normally issued as a storm based warning using counties and cities as references. These warnings are usually issued for around an hour. When the weather becomes threatening... Move quickly to your pre-designated place of safety.

Tornado warning... A tornado is imminent. Tornado warnings are normally issued as a storm based warning using counties and cities as references. These warnings are usually issued for an hour or less. If a tornado warning is issued for your area and the weather is threatening...move quickly to your
pre-designated place of safety.

Flash flood or flood watch... Issued whenever flash flooding or flooding is possible within the designated watch area. Be alert.

Flash flood or flood warning... Issued whenever flash flooding or flooding has been reported or is imminent. Take precautions at once.

On Tuesday we will discuss the upcoming severe weather drills scheduled for Wednesday...April 18th.

For more information...contact your nearest national weather
service office...or your local emergency management agency.

 


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