For the rest of the night:
Update 1am: The Metroplex has been cleared of the threat of severe thunderstorms. The rest of the watch continues.
Tornadoes, thunderstorm wind gusts to 80 mph and tennis ball-sized hail are likely.
Thursday and Thursday Evening:
My forecast of the highest area of tornado risk Thursday.
Given this serious tornado situation, I urge you to read and heed the information below. If you live in a mobile home and live in the extreme risk area, you may wish to suggest spending the danger period with a friend who has a trustworthy tornado shelter.
A tornado watch means you should monitor the weather in your area and be prepared to take shelter at the first sign of a thunderstorm.
Please particular attention to a tornado watch that contains the sentence, “This is a particularly dangerous situation.” One or more of those rare watches may be issued Thursday or Thursday evening.
When a tornado watch is issued:
- Call family and friends to make sure they are aware of the threat and insure they are going to monitor the weather at the first sign of thunderstorms. This means the sound of thunder or darkening skies.
- Make sure you have a flashlight in your shelter area along with a couple of bottles of water, a radio/TV/weather radio, diapers, and a snack of the kids (something like trail mix). If you have bicycle, football or other head protection in the house, put them in the shelter area.
- Gather up the family of those who may need help getting to shelter. You don’t want to be darting through traffic to pick up children while the sirens are sounding. Way too dangerous.
Make sure you have at least two independent ways of getting the warning, day or night (nighttime tornadoes are more dangerous than tornadoes during the day). Activate the WEA warnings on your phone so they will awaken you during the night.
- Insure your safety first! Get you and your family into shelter. Only then call friends and relatives to make sure they have gotten the warning.
- Stay in the shelter until you are given an all clear or until five minutes after the radar shows nothing over your location.
- Do not go outdoors to try to look for the tornado. Tornadoes are often invisible. Both of the locations below were struck by the Joplin Tornado but it could not be seen during its approach.
Do you see the tornado in these pictures? The only thing you are doing by doing outside to look is putting your life in danger.
Your local television meteorologist, especially if they have the seals of approval from the National Weather Association or the American Meteorological Society are excellent sources of information that will keep you informed during tornado warning periods.
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