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Colorado Severe Weather Awareness Week highlights weather dangers in the state

Monday, April 20th, 2009 7:21am MDT
Last year's Windsor tornado highlighted just how dangerous weather in Colorado can be.  Are you and your family prepared?

Last year's Windsor tornado highlighted just how dangerous weather in Colorado can be. Are you and your family prepared?

As is customary, the governor has declared this week Severe Weather Awareness Week.  This is an opportunity for the public to get reacquanted with the dangers severe weather presents in Colorado. 

Tornadoes, lightning, hail, severe wind and flooding are very real hazards that Coloradoans face every year during severe weather season.  It is important that you know what to do to protect you and your family. 

In conjunction with the National Weather Service, Examiner.com will be publishing our Severe Weather 101 series.  Each day this week a weather hazard will be discussed in depth and we will outline protective measures you can take to keep yourself and your family safe.  Please be sure to check back every day to read these important message.

From the National Weather Service

Thunderstorm hazards around the corner…are you prepared?

Severe thunderstorm season will be soon upon us.  Do you know how to stay safe around tornadoes, flash floods, lightning, hail, and damaging winds?  This is the week to learn.  This week, April 19th to 25th, is Colorado severe weather awareness week.   This is the time to learn more about severe weather in Colorado, develop severe weather preparedness plans, and test vital communications.

Can we learn lessons from the past severe weather events?  Just last year on may 22nd an EF3 tornado raced north through Weld and Larimer counties resulting in one fatality.  Several injuries and destroyed or heavily damaged hundreds of homes.  Two years ago, on March 28, 2007 the town of Holly was heavily damaged by another EF3 tornado that resulted in two fatalities.  Twelve years ago on July 28, 1997 a devastating flash flood occurred in Fort Collins resulting in 5 fatalities and millions of dollars in damage.

Each year for the past 20 years there have been an average of 50 tornadoes in Colorado, 3 people killed by lightning and another 15 injured by lightning.  

The National Weather Service offices which cover Colorado will issue a series of public information statements during the week covering the following topics:

  • Monday…Watches and warnings
  • Tuesday… Tornadoes and tornado safety
  • Wednesday…Flash floods and flash flood safety
  • Thursday…Downburst wind and hail
  • Friday…Lightning and lightning safety
  • Saturday…A review of the week

A time to test your warning reception and communications systems is planned.  Each national weather service office serving Colorado will send test tornado warnings on Tuesday April 21 between the hours of 8 am MDT and 11 am MDT.  These test warnings will be sent to the emergency alert system, the internet, NOAA weather radio and law enforcement communications systems. 

Safety information, watches, warnings, forecasts, past weather and much more information is available at your local National Weather Service web sites:

     www.weather.gov/denver      NWS Denver web site
     www.weather.gov/pueblo      NWS Pueblo web site
     www.weather.gov/goodland    NWS Goodland web site
     www.weather.gov/gjt         NWS Grand Junction web site


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