By Kevin Hagler
Severe weather –in the form of a tornado –may rear it’s ugly head in Metro Atlanta Wednesday. In fact, I was speaking with Ruben earlier and he mentioned that a record was broken for most tornado touchdowns in the U.S. in a single month! After further investigating, I came upon, WSB meterologist, Kirk Mellish’s blog:
This year has already posted 611 preliminary tornado reports across the nation, besting 2008…
This supercharged severe weather set-up is expected to continue for May as more shots of chilly Canadian air enter the country and try to spread South…
Thus far this April the country is running almost 2,000 severe thunderstorms above the average with 5,000 and counting..
Georgia is on the Southeast edge of this phenomena on average. But the Atlanta area is in “Dixie Alley” for dangerous tornadoes…
- Most tornadoes in 24 hours: 148 in April 1974.
- Most tornadoes in a week: 401 in May 2003.
- Most tornadoes in a month: 543 May 2003.
“Notice how warm and humid it is outside..” Ruben said, “that is prime conditions for severe weather. Tomorrow is going to be a volatile day one way or another.”
While only two tornadoes have touched down in Georgia so far this season, our luck may soon run out. the Weather Channel forecasts “Windy…thunderstorms likely, some strong in the evening will give way to cloudy skies overnight. Storms may produce large hail and strong winds. Low 59F. Winds SSW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 70%.” (Sounds like the ingredients for a tornado to me)
I know I’ll be equipped with canned foods, water, flash lights, and batteries with a keen eye on the weather channel. But, that’s not all. Now is the time for you and your loved ones to review your severe weather plan to make sure that you are prepared for severe weather threats by following these steps:
Prepare a Home Tornado Plan
- Pick a place where family members could gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
- If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.
Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit Containing
- First aid kit and essential medications.
- Canned food and can opener.
- At least three gallons of water per person.
- Protective clothing, bedding, or sleeping bags.
- Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
- Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
- Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you’ll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)
Stay Tuned for Storm Warnings
- Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
- Know what a tornado WATCH and WARNING means:
- A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area.
- A tornado WARNING means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
- Tornado WATCHES and WARNINGS are issued by county or parish
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