It is weather related tom. We know you’d like it. You know a lot of us spend winter dreaming of the day spring finally returns to wisconsin we’re starting to get there at this point, but the warmer weather also means the return of severe storms. And do you know where to go to stay safe? How has covete 19 changed school severe weather protocols, our fox 6 weather experts want to make sure you and your family are ready. The fury of mother nature can be fascinating, awe inspiring and deadly every year. Around this time, we brace ourselves for severe weather season, while severe thunderstorms and tornadoes can occur at just about any time of the year. Spring brings a unique atmospheric setup that is ripe for storm development. Music thunderstorms bubble up during the springtime, and it takes many different ingredients to come together to create those thunderstorms. Let’S talk about that. The first one is the jet stream. Now the jet stream does a couple of things. It divides the cool air to the north, from the warmer air to the south and in the springtime that jet stream comes north, bringing that warmer air our way and setting the stage for the clash of the air masses between the warm and cool air. The jet stream also guides storm tracks across our country, bringing those storms our way ingredient number two moisture or higher dew points that we often talk about in the springtime that comes from the gulf of mexico.
In fact, the gulf of mexico is our main moisture source here in southeastern wisconsin and the third ingredient. Well, we need something to lift all of that warm moist air up to create those thunderstorms that is usually in the form of a cold front. So all of those combine to create those thunderstorms. The good news is that we have the power to mitigate the dangers simply by being prepared and understanding the risk it’s important to know the difference between a watch and a warning when there’s a chance for severe weather. Simply put a watch is issued when severe weather is possible, whereas a warning is issued when severe weather is actually happening and there’s an imminent threat to life as well as property. Think of it in terms of baking, when you have all the proper ingredients, conditions are favorable for severe weather or, in this case, to bake a cupcake. You mix all of those ingredients together and our severe thunderstorm develops and our cupcake forms as it bakes in the oven, both of which would prompt a warning telling us that it’s all happening in the moment. I had a chance to sit down with tim halbach, who is the warning coordination meteorologist for the national weather service in milwaukee sullivan, which means he’s in charge of issuing those watches and warnings. He told me what his team does to prepare for the upcoming severe storm season. We start trying to make people aware of some of the things that they can do to stay safe, making sure that they have multiple ways to receive warnings, whether it’s, a cell phone, app weather radio.
Turning on the news and listening to what’s happening there, so just making sure that they kind of know that we get severe weather here every year in wisconsin, of course, knowing that severe weather is on the way is only the first step to truly staying safe. You need to know what to do and where to go. No matter where you are, if you’re in your home or a building and severe weather is moving in the safest place to be is in a basement or storm shelter, especially if the threat is a tornado. Be sure to bring along a weather radio with extra batteries, so you can hear those alerts and warnings, as well as an emergency supply kit. You can carry along pillows and helmets to make sure you and your family stay safe. If you don’t have a basement or storm shelter, the next best place is an interior room in the center of your house, put as many walls between you in the outside danger as possible Music when thunder roars head indoors. But what if indoors, is impossible, avoid being on top of hills and bridges, stay away from lone trees and seek shelter in forced areas with uniform tree heights Music, if there are no trees stay as close to the ground, as you can and avoid lakes and streams? If you’re out on the water come to land as quickly as possible, Music groups need to spread out as much as they can as well.
All these steps reduce your risk of being struck by lightning like everything else in the world. Covet 19 has taken its toll on severe weather preparedness. Obviously, masks are going to be important to you know if you’re all crammed into a small space trying to stay distance, if you can, and what about our kids, thousands are returning to in person school most went without a tornado drill for over a year. Are they prepared we’ve had some tornadoes in the south already that have hit schools? Thankfully, they weren’t in session at the time but it’s a reminder that it’s still important to pay attention to the weather, particularly with tornado warnings, mps, principal peggy, maestro says they are ready and the kids have already had a practice run. We did it during the time of the statewide drill, um and it went off without a hitch. At this time, staff and students need to take cover. Of course, there were changes due to the pandemic, masks up crouched position and they just go to that inner side of the you know the inner wall of the hallway. We had to use both sides of the hallway, but we were six feet apart. Southeastern wisconsin may not be the heart of tornado alley, but severe weather outbreaks have been intensifying in recent years and we need to be prepared.