Beginning this month, the National Weather Service is highlighting spring severe weather that is most common in the spring, like tornadoes, floods and thunderstorms. East Coast residents have certainly experienced all three in the past.
The top two things the National Weather Service recommends to be ready for spring weather are: stay informed and prepare an emergency kit.
Building an emergency kit is a simple endeavor. All you need is a solid list and a trip to the store. Plymouth Rock Assurance has tips for building an emergency kit for hurricanes, which includes many of the same items you’ll need to handle springtime weather. You can also follow guidelines from ready.gov.
Staying informed is as simple as checking the weather forecast every day. There will be fewer surprises if you know what’s coming your way.
To help you better understand forecasts and weather alerts, here are the meaning to terms you’ll frequently encounter during severe weather events.
Watch versus Warning
A watch is used to describe when storms or tornadoes are possible in an area and conditions are favorable. A warning means a storm or tornado has developed and there is imminent danger.
There are warnings and watches issued for severe thunderstorms. A severe thunderstorm is defined by the NWS as having winds of 58 mph or higher or hail more than 1 inch in diameter.
Flash floods also come with warnings and watches. Flash floods are defined as flooding that begins six hours of heavy rainfall.
It’s important to know that flood damage is typically not covered by a homeowners or renters insurance policy, so it’s important to consider flood insurance. Flood damage to your car is typically insured by the comprehensive coverage option, which not everyone may have.
Most everyone has seen pictures or videos of a funnel cloud tornado. If you’ve seen one in real life, I hope you and your loved ones made it through OK.
The strength of a tornado is rated by the Enhanced Fujita scale, which ranges from 0 (the weakest) to 5 (the strongest). Tornado classification begins at winds of 65 mph and goes to tornadoes with winds of more than 200 mph.
Do you do anything special to prepare for spring weather? Let us know in the comments.
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