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Ohio Severe Weather Awareness and Preparedness Week

Join the NWS and the Ohio Committee For Severe Weather Awareness and Ohio Emergency Management Agency during Ohio Severe Weather Awareness Week March 19-25, 2023 to promote severe weather awareness and preparedness.
Highlights of Ohio Severe Weather Awareness Week include:
The Ohio Statewide Tornado Drill is Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 9:50 AM


On Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 9:50 AM the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service will conduct a Statewide Severe Weather Tornado Drill.

  • The NWS encourages everyone to abide by health and safety guidelines, including social distancing and wearing a mask per local directives.
  • If that's not possible during the tornado test, then consider participating by simply sheltering-in-place or discussing sheltering options/plans among co-workers/family members.
  • Every school, citizen, and business is encouraged to participate in the drill.
  • If weather conditions to not allow for the drill, it will not be rescheduled. 


Join Us In Becoming a Weather Ready Nation!


The Weather Ready Nation is about building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability from extreme weather events. Recent tornadoes, floods, drought, etc. demonstrate the need to be prepared. Are you weather ready? Here are resources to help you be prepared before disaster strikes.

NWS Severe Storm Safety  |  Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness  |  |  OEMA

Severe Weather Safety Tip Sheets

 (PDF's for download & print)

 Tornado Safety  |  Flood Safety  |  Lightning  |  Storm Safety  |  Awareness


Tornado Information & Safety


Dangerous and devastating tornadoes have demonstrated their life-changing power in Ohio. 

Now is the time to develop a tornado safety plan before a tornado strikes.

Knowing what to do before a tornado occurs is essential to protect lives.


Severe Thunderstorm Information & Safety

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Severe thunderstorms produce a variety of weather hazards including tornadoes, large hail, damaging straight line winds, flooding, and lightning. Now is the time to review Severe Weather Safety Information.

Severe thunderstorms producing damaging winds in excess of 60 mph and large hail can be a threat to life and property. Damaging straight line winds are much more common than tornadoes and can be just as deadly. 

Those caught outdoors during a severe thunderstorm are particularly vulnerable. Boaters and campers should be especially alert to the potential of severe storms. High winds associated with severe thunderstorms can strike suddenly. Winds in excess of 60 mph can easily capsize boats and put campers at risk due to falling trees. 

 Flood Information & Safety


Typically, flooding results in more weather related fatalities than any other thunderstorm related hazard. Why? Because many of the deaths occur in automobiles when driven through flooded roads as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive across a flooded road. 

For more information, go to the Flood Safety page. 

One of the primary flood hazards and causes of flood related deaths is driving into and through low water crossings. Every year, a few adventurous drivers attempt to cross flooded roads and fail. Learn more about Low Water Crossings



Water weighs 62.4 lbs. per cubic foot and typically flows downstream at 6 to 12 mph. When a vehicle stalls in the water, the water’s momentum is transferred to the car. For each foot the water rises, 500 lbs. of lateral force is applied to the automobile.

However, the biggest factor is buoyancy. For each foot the water rises up the side of the car, the car displaces 1500 lbs. of water. In effect, the automobile weighs 1500 lbs. less for each foot the water rises. Two feet of water will carry away most automobiles!

Lightning Information & Safety


At any given moment, there are 1,800 thunderstorms in progress somewhere on Earth. This amounts to 16 million storms a year! In the United States, there are an estimated 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes each year. While lightning can be fascinating to watch, it is also extremely dangerous. 

Tragedies in school-sponsored athletics are unfortunately a growing trend as well. When thunderstorms threaten, coaches and officials must not let the desire to start or finish an athletic activity or event cloud their judgment when the safety of participants and spectators is in jeopardy.


For more lightning facts and safety information, go to the NWS Lightning Awareness page.


Severe Weather Products and Services


Did you know that your National Weather Service office in Northern Indiana offers a wealth of information to alert you of potential or imminent severe weather and flooding? 

Below is a list of severe weather products, as well the product descriptions and intended response.


Severe Weather Warnings and Outlooks
Awareness & Action Level
Hazardous Weather Outlook Issued at least twice daily by 6 AM and 4 PM to alert you of potential weather hazards.   Stay tuned to later statements and be alert for the development of hazardous weather.
Severe Weather Watches Issued when conditions become favorable for the development of severe weather. Prepare and take necessary precautions in the event a warning is issued or severe weather is observed.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued when severe weather (1" hail or larger and/or winds in excess of 58 mph) is imminent. Take immediate action to save lives and property.
Tornado Warning Issued when a tornado is imminent and has been spotted or indicated by Doppler radar. Take immediate action to save lives and property.
Severe Weather Statement Issued to update the status of severe weather warnings and give specific details on the location and severity of storms.  
Local Storm Reports Issued to inform you of actual severe weather occurrences.  


Description Awareness & Action Level
Flood Watch Issued when conditions become favorable for flooding.  Prepare and take necessary precautions in the event a warning is issued or flooding is observed.
Flash Flood Warning Issued when rapid and life-threatening water rises are imminent. Take immediate action to save lives and property.
Flood Warning Issued for main stem river flooding or over land flooding for an extended period of time.  Take immediate action to save lives and property.
Flash Flood & Flood Statements

Issued to update the status of warnings and watches, and give specific details on the locations and severity of flooding.  



Social Media and You


NWS Northern Indiana covers a portion of Northeast Ohio. We work closely with seven other National Weather Service offices. We issue watches and warnings for the protection of life and property. You can help us with your reports of severe weather and staying connected on social media. For additional information, visit your local NWS office website and social media pages:




Link to NWS Cleveland's Facebook pageLink to NWS Cleveland's Twitter page



Link to NWS Wilmington's Facebook pageLink to NWS Wilmington's Twitter page

Northern Indiana


Link to NWS Northern Indiana's Facebook pageLink to NWS Northern Indiana's Twitter page

Detroit (MI)


Link to NWS Detroit's Facebook pageLink to NWS Detroit's Twitter page

Grand Rapids (MI)


Link to NWS Buffalo's Facebook pageLink to NWS Buffalo's Twitter page

Follow us on YouTube

Chicago (IL)


Link to NWS State College's Facebook pageLink to NWS State College's Twitter page

Follow us on YouTube

Indianapolis (IN)


Link to NWS Pittsburgh's Facebook pageLink to NWS Pittsburgh's Twitter page

Follow us on YouTube


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