Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin

CBS 58

This week has been Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin. A chance to review the dangerous, and sometimes deadly, weather conditions we most frequently experience in the spring and summer months. 

We started the week off on Monday discussing the differences between watches and warnings when it comes to severe weather. A "watch" is when you are "watching" the weather. All the ingredients for severe weather are there but they haven't come together yet and you don't have severe weather currently ongoing. A "warning" means that severe weather is active and ongoing and you need to take immediate precautions.

Tuesday reviewed the severe weather categories. We have five levels of severe weather outlooks: Level 1 Marginal (green), Level 2 Slight (yellow), Level 3 Enhanced (brown), Level 4 Moderate (Red), Level 5 High (pink). Moderate and High risks are fairly rare in southeast Wisconsin but they have happened. Most of our events are the Level 1 and 2 Marginal and Slight risks where some storms with a few tornadoes are possible. A few times each season we get into the Level 3 Enhanced risk. 

Wednesday we focused on flash flooding which is the leading cause of severe weather deaths. Just a few inches of water can sweep someone off their feet and move vehicles. Two feet of water is enough to move even large vehicles. When you come across a flooded roadway or standing water it's also best to "turn around, don't drown."

Thursday was tornado day and the day of the statewide tornado drill. Learning where to go during tornado warnings is extremely important, and not just in your house or workplace. Make sure you know where the tornado shelter is at the grocery store, the mall, the park, etc. It's always best to get inside a building if you can and get to the lowest level of that building and put as many walls between you and the storm as possible like an interior closet or bathroom.

On Friday we focused on heat. Not necessarily related to severe weather but another weather event that can be deadly during the spring and summer months. Heat advisories and excessive heat warnings can be issued during big heat events. During an advisory heat indices reach as high as 105* and during excessive heat warnings the feels like temps can get as high as 110*. 

Download the CBS 58 Ready Weather app to track the weather as we go into severe weather season.

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