...This week is tornado and severe weather awareness week in Wisconsin...
Tornadoes are one of the most powerful and violent storms that nature can produce. They come in all shapes and sizes and can occur in every state...on any day of the year and at any hour of the day.
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. The visible funnel cloud that extends from the base of the storm cloud is not always visible down to the ground. The Whirl of debris on the ground...however...is a sure indication that a tornado has formed.
In Wisconsin...the peak tornado season is may through July. The peak time period is between 2 PM and 10 PM. On average...Wisconsin experiences 23 tornadoes each year...with an average of 1 fatality due to tornado-related injuries. Last year the state was hit by 16 twisters...but no fatalities were reported. 2005 had a record 62 tornadoes.
There were 10 tornadoes in northeast and north-central Wisconsin last year...including 6 during the late night hours of August 6-7. In 2005... a record 23 tornadoes were reported in northeast and north-central Wisconsin. The average number of tornadoes during the year in this part of the state is 7.
Noaa's National Weather Service issues a Tornado Watch to give you advance notice that the development of tornadoes is possible in your area. This gives you the time to make preliminary plans for moving to a safe shelter quickly if a tornado is sighted.
A Tornado Warning is an urgent announcement that a tornado has been reported by someone or indicated on radar...and warns you to take immediate action. When a warning is issued..move quickly. Seconds save lives.
Always monitor the weather conditions in your area. If severe weather is a threat...stay tuned to your NOAA Weather Radio...and local TV and radio stations...for the latest information on watches and warnings in your area.
In the home or large building...your best choice for safety in a tornado is an interior room with no windows...on the lowest level...preferably a basement. If possible...get under a sturdy table or work bench. If a basement is not available...your National Weather Service suggests that you take cover in an interior closet...hallway or bathroom on the lowest level of the building.
If you live in a Mobile home...you should be especially cautious during times of possible severe weather. Most Mobile homes are not safe in severe weather...especially tornadoes. The size and construction of Mobile homes makes them particularly vulnerable to overturning in high winds. When high winds or tornadic activity are imminent...Mobile homes should be evacuated for a sturdy shelter.
For more information on severe weather...and the latest weather forecast...go to the National Weather Service Green Bay web site at... www.Weather.Gov/grb