By Jan Schultz, The Imperial Republican News Editor
Weather the past few days has been just great, hasn’t it? We were blessed with a beautiful Easter weekend that sent people outdoors in droves.
March passed with no major weather threats here, and the area took part in Severe Weather Awareness Week which included last Wednesday’s Tornado Warning Drill. The practice drill helps us become more familiar with the different tone used for tornado warnings vs. the one used for fire calls.
The entire month of March is set aside as a time to review our severe weather plans and brush up on weather terms.
But, that doesn’t mean the threat has passed us just because March has.
As we all know, severe weather in this state can last all summer, although March, April and May often have the most tornadoes.
In Nebraska last year, April proved to be the busiest month for tornadoes with 25 of them confirmed. According to the Nebraska Weather Service, that was the highest April tornado total ever since records started being kept in 1950.
The most in one day—19—happened in the state on April 14, 2012.
The best offense is a defense, as they say, and that’s also true with severe weather preparations.
All homeowners should know where they will go to take cover in their homes, such as a basement under the stairs. Residents of mobile homes should evacuate immediately and seek shelter at a neighbor’s or at community shelters—the library, school, courthouse or city office. If none is available, find a culvert or ditch and protect your head.
And, listen to media outlets when skies threaten. Weather warnings are so much more sophisticated these days.
Social media alerts are also available.
One other dangerous aspect of severe weather I take for granted is lightning. However, it can be a deadly weather phenomena all year long.
We had some thunder and light rain the past week that may have included some lightning. An average of 54 people are killed in the U.S. each year.
The Weather Service says if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.
While we all welcome the arrival of spring, it also comes with its weather dangers. Be prepared for the season we are in.