Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tornadoes and Damaging Winds Likely

There are scattered thunderstorms over the Midwest at the present time. However, this is not the main event which is still a few hours away.

Unfortunately, the severe weather event for the Midwest covered yesterday appears on track to become a serious tornado and severe thunderstorm wind situation. Here are the details.

Tornado And Giant Hail Risk
Five percent (brown) is the significant threshold for tornadoes. The hatched area, which includes the Quad Cities, Rockford,  and western suburbs of Chicago is where strong tornadoes are forecast to occur.

Damaging Wind Risk
The significant threshold is 15% (yellow). The hatched area is where winds are forecast to gust to 75 mph or higher. It is possible that a few areas will see gusts of 85 mph which will cause power failures, perhaps widespread.

The advice?
  • Go to your ATM and get some extra cash. Credit card machines and ATM's don't work during power failures. 
  • Make sure you car's fuel is topped off. Power failures, some of long duration, are quite possible. 
  • If you have a chain saw or generator, make sure they have fuel.
  • Go to Radio Shack or a similar car and get an inverter you can plug into your cigarette lighter to recharge your cell phone. They run about $40. 
  • If you need to move things in a garage so you can put your car in, now would be a good time.
  • Make plans to insure your children/infirm relatives or friends can get to shelter quickly.
  • Make sure your flashlight and weather radio have fresh batteries. Make sure your cell phone has a full charge. Plan to take it to your shelter area, if needed, with you. 
  • In this case do not discount severe thunderstorm warnings as they could mean winds of 75 mph or more which could cause trees to fall, trampolines and other objects to fly and other serious hazards.
My final advice: Don't let this ruin your day. You've been informed and you have a checklist to prepare. Now, keep an eye on the weather but go about your business until the storms start to develop. Then, play Scrabble or something with the TV on. Take shelter if a warning is issued. But, don't freak out because there is no reason to. 

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