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Severe Weather Awareness Week
Be Prepared and Stay Safe during Severe Weather
tab icon Monday
(March 3rd)
tab icontab icon Tuesday
(March 4th)
tab icontab icon Wednesday
(March 5th)
tab icontab icon Thursday
(March 6th)
tab icontab icon Friday
(March 7th)
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Today's Topic: Tornadoes!

Monday's Activities:

Click any Topic to Expand or Contract
1. Learn about Tornadoes.
2. How common are Tornadoes in Pennsylvania?
3. What is the EF-Scale?
4. Have a Safety Plan!

Daily Safety Message:

...PENNSYLVANIA SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK...

THIS WEEK...MARCH 3RD THROUGH MARCH 7TH...IS SEVERE WEATHER 
AWARENESS WEEK IN PENNSYLVANIA.

WE WILL COVER VARIOUS TOPICS RELATING TO SEVERE WEATHER AND WEATHER 
SAFETY THROUGHOUT THE WEEK.

OUR TOPIC FOR TODAY...TORNADOES AND TORNADO SAFETY. 

WE WILL COVER THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TORNADO WATCH AND A
TORNADO WARNING...AND GIVE YOU TIPS ON WHAT TO DO WHEN A WATCH 
OR WARNING IS ISSUED FOR YOUR LOCATION.

WHAT IS A TORNADO? 

A TORNADO IS A VIOLENTLY ROTATING COLUMN OF AIR IN CONTACT WITH THE 
GROUND. THE WIND SPEEDS INSIDE A TORNADO RANGE FROM UNDER 100 MILES 
AN HOUR UP TO 300 MILES AN HOUR. THEY CAN TRAVEL WITH A FORWARD 
SPEED AS FAST AS 70 MPH...AND CAN DESTROY VIRTUALLY EVERYTHING IN 
THEIR PATH.

WHILE MOST TORNADOES THAT OCCUR IN PENNSYLVANIA ARE NOT AS STRONG AS 
THEIR COUNTERPARTS IN THE PLAINS...STRONG AND DAMAGING TORNADOES CAN 
AND DO OCCUR HERE. IN FACT...PENNSYLVANIA RANKS IN THE TOP 25 FOR 
TORNADO OCCURRENCE IN THE UNITED STATES...AVERAGING TWENTY TORNADOES 
PER YEAR. BETWEEN MAY 31ST AND JUNE 2ND OF 1998...PENNSYLVANIA WAS 
HIT BY 40 TORNADOES...SOME OF WHICH HAD WIND SPEEDS OVER 200 MPH.

WHAT DOES A TORNADO WATCH MEAN?

A TORNADO WATCH IS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ORDER 
TO ALERT YOU THAT SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP... 
AND TO HIGHLIGHT THAT THOSE STORMS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE 
TORNADOES. A TORNADO WATCH COVERS A VERY WIDE AREA...GENERALLY ABOUT 
THE SIZE OF A STATE. A TORNADO WATCH WILL LAST FOR SEVERAL 
HOURS...EXPIRING ONLY WHEN THE THREAT OF THUNDERSTORMS IS EXPECTED 
TO END.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WHEN A TORNADO WATCH IS ISSUED?

GO ABOUT YOUR NORMAL ACTIVITIES...BUT WATCH THE SKY AROUND YOU FOR
DEVELOPING STORMS. PERIODICALLY LISTEN TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR
MEDIA OUTLETS FOR UPDATES AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.

KNOW WHICH COUNTY YOU LIVE IN...AND WHICH ONES BORDER YOUR 
COMMUNITY. THINK OF A SAFE PLACE TO MOVE TO QUICKLY IF A TORNADO 
WARNING IS ISSUED FOR YOUR LOCATION...OR IF THUNDERSTORMS APPROACH.

WHAT DOES A TORNADO WARNING MEAN?

A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN METEOROLOGISTS SPOT A DEVELOPING
TORNADO USING DOPPLER RADAR...OR WHEN A TORNADO HAS BEEN SIGHTED
BY TRAINED SKYWARN SPOTTERS. THE WARNING MEANS A TORNADO IS GOING
TO MOVE THROUGH YOUR AREA SOON...SO YOU NEED TO TAKE IMMEDIATE
ACTION TO PROTECT YOUR LIFE AND PROPERTY.

TORNADO WARNINGS ISSUED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS 
TYPICALLY COVER AREAS SMALLER THAN ONE COUNTY...AND FOR A DURATION 
OF GENERALLY LESS THAN ONE HOUR. IN THE TEXT OF THE WARNING 
STATEMENT...WE TRY TO MAKE A SPECIFIC LIST OF TOWNS THAT ARE LIKELY 
TO BE IN THE PATH OF THE TORNADO. YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HEAR IF 
COMMUNITIES OR LANDMARKS NEAR YOU ARE MENTIONED IN THE WARNING.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED FOR YOUR AREA...

TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION...BUT REMAIN CALM. IF YOU ARE AT HOME OR IN
A SMALL BUILDING...GO TO THE BASEMENT OR TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON
THE LOWEST FLOOR. CLOSETS...BATHROOMS...AND OTHER INTERIOR ROOMS
WITHOUT WINDOWS OFFER THE BEST PROTECTION. AVOID WINDOWS AND GET
UNDER SOMETHING STURDY OR COVER YOURSELF WITH A MATTRESS.

IF YOU ARE IN A SCHOOL...HOSPITAL...OR SHOPPING CENTER...GO TO A
PRE-DESIGNATED SHELTER AREA. STAY AWAY FROM LARGE OPEN AREAS SUCH
AS GYMS OR AUDITORIUMS...HALLWAYS AND SMALL INTERIOR ROOMS OFFER
THE BEST PROTECTION. DO NOT GO OUTSIDE TO YOUR CAR. IF YOU ARE IN
A HIGH-RISE BUILDING...GO TO AN SMALL INTERIOR ROOM OR HALLWAY ON
THE LOWEST FLOOR POSSIBLE. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATOR.

MOBILE HOMES ARE EASILY TOSSED ABOUT BY THE STRONG WINDS OF A
TORNADO. IMMEDIATELY TAKE SHELTER IN A SUBSTANTIAL STRUCTURE.

IF YOU ARE CAUGHT OUTDOORS AND CANNOT GET TO A SAFE
BUILDING...AS A LAST RESORT...YOU SHOULD:

IF YOU HAVE ACCESS TO A VEHICLE...GET IN AND BUCKLE YOUR SEAT BELT 
AND TRY TO DRIVE TO THE CLOSEST STURDY SHELTER. IF YOUR VEHICLE IS 
HIT BY FLYING DEBRIS WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING...PULL OVER AND PARK. 
STAY IN THE CAR WITH THE SEAT BELT ON. PUT YOUR HEAD DOWN BELOW THE
WINDOWS...COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS AND A BLANKET...COAT OR
OTHER CUSHION IF POSSIBLE.

IF YOU CAN SAFELY GET NOTICEABLY LOWER THAN THE LEVEL OF THE
ROADWAY...LEAVE YOUR CAR AND LIE IN THAT LOW AREA...COVERING YOUR
HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

YOUR CHOICE OF WHETHER TO STAY IN YOUR CAR SHOULD BE DRIVEN BY YOUR 
SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES. IF YOU ARE IN A CAR OR IF YOU SEEK SHELTER 
IN A DEPRESSION OR DITCH WITH A TORNADO APPROACHING...YOU REMAIN AT 
RISK. THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE IS IN AN UNDERGROUND SHELTER...BASEMENT 
OR SAFE INTERIOR ROOM.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON TORNADOES AND SEVERE WEATHER CHECK OUT 
OUR WEB SITE AT:

weather.gov

OUR WEATHER SAFETY TOPICS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK WILL BE...
TUESDAY...THUNDERSTORM SAFETY.
WEDNESDAY...FLASH FLOOD SAFETY. 
THURSDAY...RIVER FLOOD SAFETY.
FRIDAY...SKYWARN SEVERE WEATHER SPOTTERS.

NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE FOR THIS YEAR'S SEVERE WEATHER SEASON.


 
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Page Last Modified: 21 February 2014 09:48:13 UTC
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