Monday, May 2, 2022

Tornado Outlook For Today and Tonight

This is another serious situation that demands our attention in Oklahoma and southern Kansas. This tornado threat will begin earlier in the day than Friday's; anytime after 2pm is vulnerable. 

I am using the NWS's Storm Prediction Center's Outlook and converting its forecast into my four categories. 
Here are the risk categories:
  • Red hatched is an extreme tornado risk. It includes South Haven and Arkansas City in Kansas along with Enid, Stillwater, Pawhuska and Broken Arrow in Oklahoma. 
  • Yellow hatched is a high risk of tornadoes. 
  • Yellow has an enhanced risk of tornadoes. 
  • Brown has a significant risk of tornadoes.
If you didn't Friday, I urge you to insure your friends and families are aware of the threat and prepare your shelter area.

There is also a high risk of damaging winds in the purple area. Hatching means gust of 75 mph or stronger are forecasted to occur. 
These forecasts are valid from 2pm today to 7am Tuesday.


Critical Safety Information:

Please also make sure friends and family, especially the infirm, are aware of this situation. 

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)
These are available from your smartphone. While they sometimes suffer from reliability issues (thus the reason for use of multiple sources), they have the advantage of being able to awaken you during the night if you place your smartphone next to your bed. 

If you haven't already activated WEA, here's how to do it for an iPhone. 

1. Go to "Settings" and Scroll Down to Notifications.

2. After tapping "Notifications" scroll all the way down to "Emergency Alerts." Turn them On. 
Other Warning Sources Beyond WEA
  • Weather apps. Make sure you have "location" turned on. The AccuWeather app (scroll down to bottom of page) is a good one. 
  • Weather radios, sample here
  • Television, when set to a channel with a professional meteorologist, provides excellent extended coverage. 
  • While sirens are not designed to provide indoor warnings, there's nothing wrong with cracking your window so you can listen for them. 

When You Under a Tornado Watch
  • Make sure friends or relatives who are infirm or handicapped know there is a risk of tornadoes. 
  • If they would have difficulty getting to shelter during a tornado warning, go pick them up and bring them to your home. 
  • Remember: Your basement under heavy furniture (pool table, if you have one) or the lowest floor of your home in a closet or bathroom in the middle part of your home. Put on a helmet if you have one. 
  • Make sure your shelter has footwear (or plan to wear footwear), a couple of bottles of water, diapers (if needed), flashlight and a radio/television/smartphone = a way to obtain weather info while you are sheltering. Clear out cobwebs, etc., before storms arrive.
  • Charge your smartphone and laptop when the watch is issued but take out the charger cord when thunderstorms approach (a power surge may damage your equipment). 
  • If you go to bed during a tornado watch, take your smartphone (with WEA turned on) and put it on your nightstand. 
Tornado Warning
  • Shelter when a tornado warning is issued. Do not go outdoors to try to see the tornado, especially since some tornadoes are invisible. 
  • If you feel uncomfortable during a thunderstorm, shelter whether there is an official tornado warning or not. 
  • Bring your smartphone with you. 
  • Wear shoes into shelter. 
I will have more on Twitter Monday afternoon and evening @usweatherexpert. Please follow me.

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