Storm Track Severe Weather Guide

Picture of lightning over Lake Superior, Kyle DeLong Picture of lightning over Lake Superior, Kyle DeLong |  Photo: WDIO

WDIO Storm Track Weather
Updated: May 05, 2021 10:14 AM
Created: May 03, 2021 07:11 PM

Severe weather can happen at any time across the Northland.  Severe weather can pop up quickly in the summertime. Knowing the correct terminology the WDIO Storm Track meteorologists use during times of severe weather can help keep you and your family safe. It is important to always keep a close eye on the forecast when heading out to enjoy your day.

Severe thunderstorms are storms capable of producing 1” in diameter or greater hail and could have winds at or greater than 58 miles per hour. Tornadoes are possible during severe thunderstorms.  A Watch or Warning will be issued when needed.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH:  Conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to develop within the watch area through a set timeframe. Prepare for quickly changing weather conditions. Check weather conditions frequently.

What should you do during a Severe Thunderstorm Watch?  If time allows, move property such as cars into a garage or under shelter as well as secure any objects that could easily be tossed by the wind.

  • Identify your safe space in the event of severe weather.
  • Review or make a Severe Weather Safety Plan.
  • Watch the WDIO Storm Track Weather forecast closely.

Download the WDIO App and allow push notifications to receive severe weather alerts.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING:  A severe thunderstorm has been spotted in your area, or radar indicated and will impact those in the warned area.  If you are in the warned area, you need to seek shelter immediately.

What should you do during a Severe Thunderstorm Warning?  

When at Home:

  • Follow your Severe Weather Safety Plan.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • If necessary, seek shelter in a basement or lowest level of your building.
  • Crouch down and cover your neck with your hands. 
  • Get under a piece of sturdy furniture if possible.

If caught Outside:

  • Seek shelter indoors.
  • If you can’t move indoors, seek shelter under a sturdy location or vehicle.
  • Do not seek shelter under a tree.
  • Stay in a car if you can’t find a sturdy location or building.
  • The car will provide some protection.
  • Cover yourself to protect yourself in case glass breaks.

TORNADO WATCH:  Conditions are favorable for thunderstorms to form tornadoes within the watch area through a set timeframe. Be prepared for weather conditions to change quickly and review/make a Severe Weather Safety Plan. Check weather conditions frequently.

What should you do during a Tornado Watch?

  • Identify your safe place in the event of severe weather and review or make a Severe Weather Safety Plan with your family making sure every member knows the plan.

Watch for updates from WDIO Storm Track Weather.

TORNADO WARNING: A tornado has been spotted and will impact those in the warned area.  If you are in a tornado warning, you need to seek shelter immediately. 

What should you do during a Tornado Warning?

At Home:

  • Follow your Severe Weather Safety Plan.
  • Seek shelter in the lowest level in your home; basement is ideal but if you don’t have a basement, a small interior room on the lowest level of your home without windows or exterior walls will do.
  • Crouch down, covering your neck with your hands. Get under a piece of furniture if possible.

If caught Outside: 

  • Seek shelter indoors.
  • If driving, do not attempt to outrun a tornado.
  • Do not attempt to seek shelter in a car.
  • Do not seek shelter under a bridge or overpass
  • If you cannot move indoors, seek shelter in a ditch or low lying area.
  • Crouch down, covering your head and neck with your hands


WHAT IS A MICROBURST?  A sudden, powerful, localized air current, especially a downdraft.  Seek Shelter immediately. Although microbursts are not as widely recognized as tornadoes, they can cause similar damage.  In some cases, worse damage than some tornadoes can produce.

What should you watch for during a Microburst: A microburst may also bring heavy, often called a “rain bomb.” These are relatively rare. Though microbursts can harm people and buildings, microburst can cause the most damage to airplanes.

FLOOD SAFETY
Floods account for the most thunderstorm related deaths per year, even more than tornadoes and lightning. There is a noticeable difference between a flood and a flash flood – mainly the speed at which impacts will happen and duration of impact.
 
FLOOD WATCH: Conditions are favorable for river flooding or inundation in flood plains within the watch area. Be prepared for potential rising river levels. Those near rivers or in a flood plain should consider using sandbags if necessary. Make sure sump pumps are working properly and check weather conditions regularly.  

What  should you do if a Flood Watch is issued for your area?

  • Know your surroundings. Prepare sandbags for your home if you live near a river or in a flood plain.
  • You may want to move important documents, items to higher levels of your home or business.
  • Be prepared to evacuate. Pack a bag of necessary supplies, like medication, non-perishable food and fresh water.
  • Have an evacuation plan. Know which roads will be the safest route to higher ground.
  • Watch the WDIO Storm Team Weather forecast closely.

Download the WDIO App and allow push notifications to receive severe weather alerts.


FLOOD WARNING: Flooding is either occurring along rivers or in flood plains or will be imminent in defined areas. Flood conditions may last as long as several days. Move to higher ground if flood water is forecast to impact your home and obey any evacuation orders.

What  should you do if a Flood Warning is issued in your area?

  • Obey evacuation orders and move to higher ground.
  • Stay away from flooded areas.
  • Do not cross a flooded road or area. You do not know what the ground is like underneath.
  • 6” of fast moving water can knock a person down.
  • 12” of fast moving water can cause a small car/SUV to float.
  • 18”+ of fast moving water can cause a large car/SUV to float.
  • Stay away from any electrical equipment that are in contact with or close contact with water.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH: Conditions are favorable for a sudden, rapid rise of water due to heavy rains. This will occur within the watch area through a set timeframe. Be prepared for rapidly rising water in low areas and rivers due to potential heavy rains. Check weather conditions frequently.

What should you do if a Flash Flood Watch is issued for your area?

  • Make sure sump pumps are working.
  • Pack a bag full of necessary supplies like fresh water, non-perishable food as well as necessary medication.

FLASH FLOOD WARNING: Sudden, rapid rises of flood waters are either happening or are imminent in the warned area.  Seek shelter and higher ground immediately.
 
What should you do if there is a Flash Flood Warning?

  • Seek shelter at higher ground.
  • Obey any evacuation orders.
  • Stay away from flooded areas.
  • Do not cross a flooded road/area.
  • 6” of fast moving water can knock a person down.
  • 12” of fast moving water can cause a small car/SUV to float.
  • 18”+ of fast moving water can cause a large car/SUV to float.


 

EXCESSIVE HEAT SAFETY: Heat is another dangerous form of severe weather. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are preventable if you know what symptoms to look for.

Heat Stroke Symptoms: 

  • Headache
  • High external temperature (103°F or higher)
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • No sweating
  • Hot and dry skin
  • Loss of consciousness

If you have any of these symptoms:  Immediately stop what you are doing and call 9-1-1. Move to a cool location and begin to lower the body temperatures with either cool clothes or a bath. Do not give or take any fluids.

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms: 

  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • Excessive sweating
  • Cold, pale and/or clammy skin
  • A fast but weak pulse
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps

If you have any of these symptoms: Immediately stop what you or the person are doing and move inside or to a cooler place. Once inside or in a cooler place, lie down and sip water as well as loosen any tight clothing. If vomiting continues, seek medical attention.

Ways to Prevent/Lessen Heat-Related Illnesses:

  • Drink water
  • Avoid sugary drinks, alcoholic drinks and drinks with caffeine - they are diuretics which will cause you to become dehydrated.
  • Wear light color, loose-fitting and lightweight clothing.
  • Never leave elderly, children or pets in cars during particularly hot days.
  • Pace yourself if you’re outdoors either working or for recreation.
  • Take frequent breaks to cool down.
  • Use an AC or fan to regulate your temperature during the day and at night.

MAKE SURE TO STAY WEATHER AWARE
You can get the latest forecast on WDIO News, www.wdio.com or by downloading the WDIO news app for iPhone or Android. You can also Like WDIO News and weather on Facebook as well as follow WDIO Storm Track and News on Twitter.

WDIO Storm Track Weather can help keep you and your family stay safe and it all starts with a safety plan.

HAVE A SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY PLAN FOR YOUR WHOLE FAMILY

In the event of severe weather, having a safety plan is important. If you don’t have a safety plan, here’s what one should consist of.
Fresh batteries as well as a battery operated radio/TV or internet enabled device to get the latest weather information from WDIO Storm Track Weather, online or through the WDIO mobile app.

  • An emergency kit, which should include fresh water, non-perishable food and important medication.
  • Identify the safest in your home:
  • Go to a basement or a small room on the lowest level of the building (bathroom, closet or center hallway).
  • Avoid windows and rooms with exterior walls.
  • Get under something sturdy and protect your head and neck.
  • DO NOT stay in a mobile home.
  • Seek shelter in a designated Storm Shelter or another sturdy structure.

Credits

WDIO Storm Track Weather

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