TEST TORNADO WARNING TODAY, April 20, 2011
Wyoming Severe Weather Awareness Week
by National Weather Service
April 20, 2011
This is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wyoming.
The week of April 18 to April 22 has been designated Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wyoming. The highlight of this week is the Test Tornado Drill which will occur this morning.
The statewide Test Tornado Warning will be issued at 1030 am MDT by National Weather Service offices serving Wyoming. This Test Tornado Warning will be followed by a Test Severe Weather Statement at 1045 am MDT which will cancel the test warning.
This statewide drill offers government officials, law enforcement agencies, schools and businesses, as well as other private groups and citizens the chance to test their severe weather communications and plans in advance of severe weather season. The National Weather Service encourages participation in this drill.
A tornado is a rapidly rotating column of air that is in contact with the ground. A visible cloud is not needed for a tornado to be in progress. Some tornadoes may not appear to extend to the ground but are causing considerable damage.
Tornadoes take on various shapes and sizes. Most produce winds less than 120 mph. However, .a few are capable of producing winds over 200 mph. Some are very small and last for only a minute or so, while others can be a mile or two wide and stay on the ground for over an hour.
Tornadoes have occurred in each month of the year during any hour of the day. However in Wyoming, tornadoes are most likely to form during the late afternoon and early evening hours during the months of May through September.
If an actual tornado warning is issued or you see a tornado approaching, follow these safety rules:
- in a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement. Move underneath a table, workbench or staircase. Stay away from corners of the room because debris is usually displaced into those areas. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes and should be abandoned.
- if an underground shelter is not available, move to the lowest, Most interior room available and get under a sturdy piece of furniture if possible. Stay away from windows.
- if in an office building, shopping mall, or school, go into an interior hallway and crouch on the ground against a wall. Cover your head with your hands. Seek shelter somewhere other than wide-open rooms like gymnasiums, auditoriums, or the common areas of shopping malls.
Make sure your family and the people in your workplace are familiar with these safety precautions. Review the procedures and practice them during the drill.
Other tornado information and myths can be found on-line in a tornado preparedness brochure at www.nws.noaa.gov/om/brochures/ttl.pdf
Staff from the National Weather Service in Riverton, Wyoming are also available to conduct presentations regarding weather services, safety, awareness, careers and numerous other topics. To schedule a presentation for your school, community, church or civic group, please call 1-800-211-1448.