ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – April 25th through May 1st is Severe Weather Awareness Week in New York State. This week supported by the National Weather Service and New York State Office of Emergency Management provides the opportunity to communicate the possible hazards associated with severe weather when it comes around.
Types of severe weather include severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, strong winds, hail and tornadoes. It’s important to know and understand all of the possible hazards associated with these types of weather in order to keep yourself and those around you as safe as possible when inclement weather strikes.
Every day this week different topics will be discussed and added on to in this blog as a refresher on what hazards are possible during the spring and summer months ahead. The threat for warm season severe weather in WNY begins as early as the mid to late spring months up until the late fall months, so what better time to prepare than right now!
It’s important to understand the difference between a watch and a warning when dealing with inclement weather.
A severe thunderstorm WATCH means that severe thunderstorms are possible over the next few hours. A severe thunderstorm WARNING means that severe thunderstorms are either imminent or happening right now. It’s recommended to seek shelter immediately when a severe thunderstorm is issued in your area. Even if a storm isn’t considered severe, it’s always a good idea to seek shelter since all thunderstorms contain lightning.
Knowing how you’re going to receive warnings can be just as important as understanding what they mean. Besides getting local weather alerts from your mobile phone or favorite TV station, you can use a NOAA weather radio for when the power goes out.
If you’re spending time outside, know where a safe place to go is in case of inclement weather, and if you’re out on the water, boaters should get to shore immediately if not below deck. If you’re driving, be alert and aware of your surroundings as well as road conditions. Flooding can be a serious hazard to those driving on the roads, especially when heavy downpours occur with little warning. Don’t drive into water if there’s even the slightest question of being able to get through it, because odds are your instincts are probably right.
Did you know that half a foot of water is enough to stall your car and cause you to lose control of the vehicle? One foot of water can easily float and sweep away your car. Remember to always turn around, don’t drown!
Take this time to make sure you have a severe weather plan in place just in case you find yourself needing to find a safe place to go if a severe storm is in your area.
“Over the last 20 years severe weather has killed over 100 people in New York and caused billions of dollars in damage. On average, the National Weather Service issues 400 severe thunderstorm warnings, 17 tornado warnings, and 150 flash flood warnings each year in New York.” -NWS Buffalo
-News 8 Weather Team