...Severe Weather Awareness Week - March 9 - 13, 2009...

 

Join the NWS and Missouri State Emergency Management Agency and Kansas Division of Emergency Management during Severe Weather Awareness Week March 9-13 to promote severe weather safety.


 Severe Thunderstorms  | 
Tornadoes Lighting Flood Statistics  |   Products

 

 

State emergency management and the National Weather Service (NWS) will conduct a  Statewide Severe Weather Tornado Drill at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 10, 2009.  Every school, citizen and business is encouraged to participate in the drill by practicing seeking secure, save shelter from a "tornado".   In the event of inclement weather, the test day will be postponed to Thursday, March 12th, also at 1:30 p.m.

The NWS in Springfield Missouri will issue a test tornado warning as part of the drill; however, at the present time it is unknown whether the NWS will utilize the Emergency Alert System (EAS) TOR code as in the past.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has raised an issue concerning the use of the real event code and until a waiver may be obtained, the NWS is forced to use the Required Weekly Test (RWT) EAS Code.  Be aware that the RWT will not tone alert NOAA Weather Radios (NWR).  It is the strong desire of the NWS to use the TOR code as it will trigger the alert function of weather radios and test the complete communication system.

Local officials may still sound warning sirens to initiate the drill.  Area residents, businesses, and schools are urged to treat the drill as if it were an actual tornado emergency. The purpose of the annual drill is to test everyone’s readiness for life-threatening severe weather events such as tornadoes, flash floods, large hail, and damaging winds.

The Missouri Ozarks and extreme southeast Kansas experience a variety of severe weather including tornadoes,  severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and large hail, and flash flooding.  Residents are encouraged to use this week, and the annual test day, to review their severe weather safety plans.  Practice what you would do in a real tornado emergency.   

 

Severe Thunderstorms

 
Radar Image

Severe thunderstorms produce a variety of weather hazards including tornadoes, large hail, damaging straight line winds, flooding, and lightning.   Now is the time to review Severe Weather Safety Information.

Severe thunderstorms producing damaging winds in excess of 60 mph and large hail can be a threat to life and property.  Damaging straight line winds are much more common than tornadoes and can be just as deadly. 

Those caught outdoors during a severe thunderstorm are particularly vulnerable.  Boaters and campers that enjoy the recreational opportunities of the Ozarks should be especially alert to the potential of severe storms.  High winds associated with severe thunderstorms can strike suddenly.  Winds in excess of 70 mph can easily capsize boats and put campers at risk due to falling trees. 

 

Tornado Information & Safety

 

The number of tornadoes in Missouri during the year 2006 cracked the century mark for the first time in history.  There were 143 documented tornadoes in Missouri throughout 2006.  This number shatters the previous record of 84 tornadoes set back in 2003.  The average number of tornadoes that occur each year across the state is 28.

 

Here are links to 3 of the more notable tornado outbreaks across the Missouri Ozarks and southeast Kansas over the past several years...

 

May 4th, 2003

 

March 12th, 2006

 

January 7-8, 2008

 

For more tornado safety information & facts click on the following links...

 NWS Tornado safety Information

 NOAA tornado Information 

 Safe room information FEMA

 Weather safety information from SEMA

 

Flood Safety

 

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. Why? The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water.   Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive across a flooded road.  

One of the primary flood hazards and causes of flood related deaths across the Ozarks is driving into low water crossings. Every year a few adventurous drivers attempt to cross flooded roads and fail.  Learn more about  Low Water Crossings.

Whether you are driving or walking, if you come to a flooded road, Turn Around Don’t DrownTM. You will not know the depth of the water nor the condition of the road under the water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water weighs 62.4 lbs. per cubic foot and typically flows downstream at 6 to 12 mph.  When a vehicle stalls in the water, the water’s momentum is transferred to the car. For each foot the water rises, 500 lbs. of lateral force is applied to the automobile.

But the biggest factor is bouyancy. For each foot the water rises up the side of the car, the car displaces 1500 lbs. of water. In effect, the automobile weighs 1500 lbs. less for each foot the water rises.  Two feet of water will carry away most automobiles!!!

 

Lightning Safety

 

At any given moment, there are 1,800 thunderstorms in progress somewhere on Earth. This amounts to 16 million storms a year! In the United States, there are an estimated 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes each year. While lightning can be fascinating to watch, it is also extremely dangerous.

In Missouri there were 86 deaths attributed to lightning from 1959 - 2002, an average of 2 deaths per year. Missouri ranks 17th nationally in lightning deaths per state.
Tragedies in school sponsored athletics are unfortunately a growing trend as well. When thunderstorms threaten, coaches and officials must not let the desire to start or finish an athletic activity or event cloud their judgment when the safety of participants and spectators is in jeopardy. 

For more lightning facts and safety information go to the  NWS Lightning Awareness page.

 

 

Hazardous Weather Statistics

 

 

For more information about the impact of severe weather, go to NWS  Natural Hazards Statistics page.

Take a look at the Natural Hazard Risk Assessment for your county or the Severe Weather Climatology page.

  Severe Weather Statistics for Missouri

 
 
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
Tornadoes
 
 
Total
143
40
69
84
29
39
27
Deaths
13
1
7
19
4
1
0
Injuries
275
9
27
171
56
0
0
Flash Floods or Flooding
 
Deaths
2
3
1
1
3
3
2
Injuries
2
0
1
0
7
6
0
Lightning
 
Deaths
0
2
2
1
0
0
0
Injuries
2
5
50
10
1
36
6
Thunderstorm Winds
 
Deaths
2
0
10
21
12
4
4
Injuries
44
5
78
181
65
51
27
Combined Totals
 
Deaths
17
6
10
21
12
4
4
Injuries
323
19
78
181
65
51
27

Tornado Deaths County by County from 1950-2006 (pdf file)

Tornadoes County by County 1950 - 2006 (pdf file)

Tornado Track Map 1950-2005

 

 

Severe Weather Products and Services

 

 Did you know that your NWS in Springfield, Mo. offers a wealth of information to alert you of potential or imminent severe weather and flooding?   Below is a list of severe weather products, as well the product descriptions and intended response.

Weather Briefing Pages 

 Radar 

Severe WeatherBriefing Page

Emergency Management & Spotter page

 Comprehensive product and services guide 

 

Severe Weather Warnings and Outlooks
Product
Description
Awareness & Action Level
Hazardous Weather Outlook Issued at least twice daily at 6 AM and 1 PM to alert you of potential weather hazards.   Stay tuned to later statements and be alert for the development of hazardous weather.
Severe Weather Watches Issued when conditions become favorable for the development of severe weather. Prepare and take necessary precautions in the event a warning is issued or severe weather is observed.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued when severe weather (3/4" hail or larger and/or winds in excess of 58 mph) is imminent. Take immediate action to save lives and property.
Tornado Warning Issued when a tornado is imminent and has been spotted or indicated by doppler radar. Take immediate action to save lives and property.
Severe Weather Statement Issued to update the status of severe weather warnings and give specific details on the location and severity of storms.  
Local Storm Reports Issued to inform you of actual severe weather occurrences.  

 

Flood Warnings and Outlooks
Product
Description
Awareness & Action Level
Flood Potential Outlook Issued 36 to 72 hours before potential flood events. Stay tuned to later statements and be alert for the development of flooding.
Flood Watch Issued when conditions become favorable for flooding. Prepare and take necessary precautions in the event a warning is issued or flooding is observed.
Flash Flood Warning Issued when rapid and life threatening water rises are imminent. Take immediate action to save lives and property.
Flood Warning Issued for main stem river flooding or over land flooding for an extended period of time. Take immediate action to save lives and property.
Flash Flood & Flood Statements Issued to update the status of warnings and watches, and give specific details on the locations and severity of flooding.   

 



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