Severe Weather Awareness Week  

Each year, nearly 2000 people in this country are killed or injured by the products of thunderstorms. Tornadoes, lightning, strong winds, and hail can be deadly forces that could occur anytime. At any given moment, an average of 1800 thunderstorms are occurring around the globe. Of the estimated 100,000 storms that occur in the U.S. every year, about 10% are classified as severe.


Do you know how to protect yourself or your family when danger strikes?

Governor Bill Ritter has designated  April 19-25, 2009 "Severe Weather Awareness Week," marking an annual campaign by the National Weather Service, the Colorado Division of Emergency Management, and emergency managers throughout Colorado to promote severe spring weather safety.

(To see the Governor’s Proclaimation, click here)

Weather safety will be the key subjects addressed during Severe Weather Awareness Week in Colorado.  A number of important weather topics will be presented each day. To find out more, just click on one of the subjects below. Also, these messages will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio each day.

Severe Weather Awareness Introduction Sunday, April 19
Watches and Warnings Monday, April 20
Tornadoes and Tornado Safety Tuesday, April 21
Damaging Wind and Hail Wednesday, April 22
Flood and Flash Flood Safety  Thursday, April 23
Lightning and Wildfires Friday, April 24
A Review of the Week Saturday, April 25

Spring and Summer in Colorado can bring severe storms which often produce damaging hail, extremely high winds, devastating tornadoes, and flash flooding.  Thunderstorms and flooding in 1997 resulted in five fatalities in Fort Collins and a presidential disaster declaration for 13 counties. Intense thunderstorms in April of 1999 resulted in another presidential disaster declaration. Nationally, flash floods result in nearly 140 deaths annually.

Hail has caused property and agricultural damage across the nation to the tune of almost $1 billion. In July of 1990, Denver suffered an estimated $625 million in damages from a single storm. 

Colorado ranks ninth in the United States for frequency of tornadoes, 38th for number of tornado deaths, 31st for injuries, and 30th for cost of tornado damages.

Drought, extreme heat, landslides, lightning, and wildfires are also concerns in Colorado. Coloradans can prepare for severe weather, help lessen the damage and destruction it causes, and help protect their lives and property if they are aware of precautions they can take before and during severe weather events.   

For further information on Severe Weather and Wildfire Preparedness Week in Colorado, please email the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, or call 970-243-7007.

Visit your local emergency management website for region-specific information:

Other websites with statistics & facts: is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.