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Severe Weather Awareness Week (February 26-March 4, 2017)
 

The National Weather Service (NWS), in cooperation with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM), has proclaimed February 26 through March 4, 2017 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Arkansas. Citizens of the state are urged to prepare for the severe weather season. People are encouraged to use the week to review severe weather safety rules, and to understand the hazards associated with severe thunderstorms.

The year began with weak La Niña conditions (slightly cooler than average water temperatures along the equator in the Pacific Ocean). Given such conditions in previous years, tornadoes were numerous at times. In fact, the most active years around here were La Niña years (107 tornadoes in 1999 and 81 tornadoes in 2008). There were several outbreaks of severe weather since November, 2016, and these just missed us to the south and east. If such outbreaks affect us in the coming weeks, we need to be ready!

 

ARKANSAS TORNADO DRILL -- Thursday, March 2nd at 10 AM

In place of our standard NOAA Weather Radio test on Thursday, we are planning to send the test out as a tornado drill for Arkansas. We encourage you to take this time to practice your tornado sheltering procedures. The Weather Radio test will be sent with instructions for practicing a Tornado Drill at 10 AM on Thursday, March 2, 2017.**

Note: For the tornado drill script (in PDF) to be read during the test, click here.

 

The NWS will broadcast safety information on NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) and will transmit Public Information Statements (PNS) on news and weather wires.

 

Information Sent During Severe Weather Awareness Week, 2017
 
Sunday, February 26, 2017...Introduction to Severe Weather Awareness Week...click here.
Monday, February 27, 2017...Severe Thunderstorms...click here.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017...Flash Flooding...click here.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017...Tornadoes...click here.
Thursday, March 2, 2017...Lightning...click here.
Friday, March 3, 2017...Watches and Warnings...click here.
Saturday, March 4, 2017...Becoming a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador...click here.

 

Severe Weather Awareness Week Slides
These are the topics (plus some extras) covered during Severe Weather Awareness Week, 2017.
Introduction  |  Severe Thunderstorms  |  Flash Floods  |  Tornadoes
Lightning  |  Watches/Warnings  |  Receiving Severe Weather Info
Tornadoes During La Niña Years  |  Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador
In the pictures: These are the topics (plus some extras) covered during Severe Weather Awareness Week, 2017.

 

This is the cover of the "Severe Weather in Arkansas" guide featuring severe storms illuminated by lightning in northern Arkansas on 10/12/2016. The storms produced baseball size hail near Piercetown (Newton County) and wind damage at Leslie (Searcy County). This special week follows a year (2016) with 25 tornadoes (33 is normal).
In the picture: This is the cover of the "Severe Weather in Arkansas" guide featuring severe storms illuminated by lightning in northern Arkansas on 10/12/2016. The storms produced baseball size hail near Piercetown (Newton County) and wind damage at Leslie (Searcy County).

 

Most of the tornadoes (23 of them) were spawned in March and April. This was during the spring, which is generally the most active time of year locally. The strongest tornado (rated EF2) affected portions of Crawford and Washington Counties in northwest Arkansas on March 23rd.

 

Link of Interest
Severe Weather in Arkansas (contains a question/answer guide, tornado statistics since 1950 and severe weather terminology)

 

When spring unleashes monster storms, are you ready? Make a plan with just a few simple steps: Know Your Risk, Take Action and Be a Force of Nature. This is the Weather Safety Spring logo, and is a reminder to prepare now for severe weather.
In the picture: This is the Weather Safety Spring logo, and is a reminder to prepare now for severe weather.