Wednesday, May 22, 2019

"Particularly Dangerous Situation" Tornado Watch

We don't routinely post watches on this blog but we make exceptions for the rare "particularly dangerous situation" tornado (and severe thunderstorm) watches. One was just issued until 10pm for central and south central Oklahoma and a small part of northern Texas around Wichita Falls.

The radar at 2:30pm shows a rapidly developing severe thunderstorm in southern Oklahoma.
There are thunderstorms starting to develop in southeast Kansas and western Missouri. A tornado watch will likely be issued in these areas. I'll go ahead and post it when one is issued.

If you haven't already, start continuously monitoring local media, turn on your weather radio, and turn up the volume on your cell phone -- hopefully with the emergency messages turned on (see below).
Below are safety suggestions:
  • Because of the higher than average overnight tornado risk, I strongly recommend downloading both the AccuWeather app (scroll down to bottom of page). Be sure to allow location services. 
  • Making sure you have turned the emergency notification feature (ENF) your smartphone. Easy instructions are below. 
  • If you are in the threat area, put your (fully charged!) smartphone with the AW App and the ENF turned on next to your bed! Turn on your weather radio. You want to be awakened if a tornado warning is issued. 
  • Insure your PC and phone are fully charged but take them off the charger before lightning arrives.
  • Have a flash light (check the batteries), a couple bottles of water and diapers in your shelter area. Take your cell phone into shelter with you. 
  • Always wear shoes into your shelter. 
Here is now to turn on the emergency notification feature.
Once you have tapped Notifications, scroll down to the bottom and turn on Emergency Alerts.
While not as fast or as location-specific as NWS warnings provided by the AccuWeather App, the WEA tones will wake you up at night if the phone is next to your bed. So, you want both. Because WEA only triggers for tornado and flash flood warnings you don't have the false alarm problem that you have with many NOAA Weather Radios. Please make sure family and friends have done this.

I will not be updating tornado warnings on this blog. Follow me on Twitter @usweatherexpert. 

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