ND Severe Summer Weather Awareness Week - Day 3

Before the Tornado...
Tornado watches highlight the area where tornadoes are most likely to develop. Continue with your normal activites, but keep informed of the latest weather information and be ready to get to shelter in case tornadoes develop quickly.

In the Home...
Go to the basement if possible. Get under a table, work bench, or some other sturdy furniture to avoid falling debris. A stairwell is also a good place to hide during a tornado.

If You Cannot Get to a Basement...
Go to a small interior room on the lowest floor. Closets, bathrooms, and interior halls afford the best protection in most cases, or try to hide under a bed. Get under something sturdy or cover yourself with blankets. Stay away from windows.

In an Apartment, School or Office Building...
Move to the inner-most room on the lowest level or to a pre-designated shelter area. Stay away from windows. If in a hallway, crouch down and protect your head from flying debris. Avoid areas with glass and large roof expansions.

In a Mobile Home, Car, Truck or Other Vehicle...
Abandon these as quickly as possible. Seek a sturdy shelter or permanent structure. Remember that many deaths occur when people try to drive away in a vehicle, but get caught in the deadly winds. Avoid bridges since they act as wind tunnels.

Last year, North Dakota only saw 16 tornadoes,9 of those in the east... which is well below our long term average of around 30 tornadoes, nearly 1 per county each year in the east.  By comparison, 2011 saw 59 tornadoes, which is double the average since the early 90s, one less than occurred in 2010, and just two shy of the record set in 1999.  The tornadoes of 2012 and 2013 were all fairly week and shortlived, rated at EF0 to EF1.  The strongest tornado of 2011 was rated EF-3, which tracked near the community of Berlin in central LaMoure County.  In 2011, the earliest tornadoes occurred on Memorial Day, when a series of EF2 tornadoes touched down from near the Walcott area, past Horace, into southern and western portions of Fargo, and again east of Harwood.  These tornadoes were wrapped in downburst winds and very heavy rain.  On July 4th, of 2011, the EF2 tornado which ripped a roof off a home northwest of Mapleton was one of several tornadoes which formed along a band from east central North Dakota (near Grandin) past Mapleton and Casselton, and south into eastern South Dakota.

Fortunately, no deaths or serious injuries were reported with the tornadoes which occurred last year, or in 2011 or 2012.  Back in 2010, there was one tornado rated at EF3, produucing two deaths, and there were two tornadoes in the state which were rated at EF4... though no one was killed by these incredible storms. 

However, tornadoes can be very deadly within their tracks, ans several persons are typically injured by tornados and wind blown debris in any given year.  

 More information on Severe Summer Weather Awareness Week.

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