Severe Weather Awareness Week in Colorado gets started

In 1981 a tornado ripped through Thornton and caused major damage. Last year, funnel clouds were spotted across much of the area. Image courtesy City of Thornton archives.

As is customary as we get further into spring, this coming week has been proclaimed Severe Weather Awareness Week.  This is an opportunity for the public to get reacquainted with the dangers severe weather presents in Colorado.

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

Just 12 years ago in what was Denver’s weather story of the year, we suffered through a period of unusually severe weather including a tornado that ripped through the Southlands Mall.

Thirteen years ago on May 22nd an EF3 tornado raced north through Weld and Larimer counties resulting in one fatality near Windsor and causing several injuries and destroyed or heavily damaged hundreds of homes.

And of course in 1981 Thornton was the site of the worst tornado to ever strike the Denver metro area.

Tornadoes may get all the press but other severe weather can be damaging and deadly.

Just eight years ago, late summer flooding caused millions of dollars of damage across northeastern Colorado.  It was 45 years ago that thunderstorms brought a raging torrent of water down the Big Thompson and caused one of Colorado’s worst natural disasters.  Eleven years ago hail struck the Thornton area causing damage to homes and vehicles.

In conjunction with the National Weather Service’s statements on Severe Weather Awareness Week, 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:

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Boulder CO
600 am MDT Sun Apr 10 2022

APRIL 10-16, 2022


The National Weather Service wants everyone to be part of a Weather Ready Nation. Colorado is an annual host for tornadoes…flash floods… tornadoes…damaging hail…killer lightning…and wind damage. Are you weather ready…now is the time to make sure you know how to stay safe when severe weather threatens. This week…April 12th to 18th is Colorado Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

Each year for the past 20 years there have been an average of 50 tornadoes in Colorado…3 people are killed by lightning…and another 13 people are injured by lightning. Some of the biggest insurance losses each year are due to large hail.

The 2008 Windsor tornado highlighted just how dangerous weather in Colorado can be. Are you and your family prepared?
The 2008 Windsor tornado highlighted just how dangerous weather in Colorado can be. Are you and your family prepared?

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….Flood and Flash Flood Safety
Thursday…..Downburst Wind and Hail
Friday…….Lightning and Lightning Safety
Saturday…..A Review of the Week

Warnings are issued by the National Weather Service for a variety of thunderstorm hazards. Make sure you have a way to receive warnings. If you live in a community with a siren…understand the protocol for sounding those sirens. If you have a relatively new cell phone you will receive tornado and flash flood warnings on your phone if you are in the area of the warning. NOAA Weather Radios are another great way to monitor the weather and receive warnings…and they can be found and most hardware or electronics stores.

Safety information…watches…warnings…forecasts…current conditions…radar…and much more information is available at your local National Weather Service Web sites: NWS Denver web site NWS Pueblo web site NWS Goodland web site NWS Grand Junction web site

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