Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Albany, NY

Home | Current Version | Previous Version | Graphics & Text | Print | Product List | Glossary On
Versions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35
NOUS41 KALY 041200

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Albany NY
800 AM EDT Thu May 4 2017

...Severe Weather Awareness Week Continues...

Today we take an in depth look at tornadoes and conduct our New
York severe weather communication drill at 115 pm.

Our region averages about five tornadoes per year. Tornadoes have
occurred in New York and western New England during every season but
are most common from May to August. Tornadoes can strike anywhere,
valleys and mountains, cities, and rural areas. Tornadoes are most
common in the afternoon and evening, but occur at all hours.

Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air in contact with
the ground and attached to the cloud above. The strongest
tornadoes have wind speeds in excess of 200 mph, widths
approaching one mile, lengths of many miles, and durations of up
to one hour. Fortunately, most tornadoes are considerably weaker
and of shorter duration. Tornadoes typically move at about 30
mph, but can move as fast as 70 mph.

In New York and New England, about 77 percent of all tornadoes
are weak, 21 Percent strong, and only about two percent are
considered violent. Tornado Damage is rated on the EF-scale.
The weakest tornadoes are EF-0 while the Strongest are EF-5. The
strongest tornadoes recorded in the Albany Forecast Area since 1950
have been rated EF-4, which are violent, and caused considerable
damage and loss of life.

Tornadoes form in an environment conducive to thunderstorm
development. Winds changing direction and speed with height
produce a horizontal spinning in the atmosphere. Strong upward
motions in thunderstorms tilt the horizontal rotation to the
vertical. An area of rotation develops through the much of the
thunderstorm. Most tornadoes form in this area of rotation called
the mesocyclone.

A number of tornado myths exist. A myth, windows should be opened
to equalize air pressure. Leave the windows alone. Seek shelter
immediately. Another myth, low pressure associated with tornadoes
causes buildings to explode. Violent tornadic winds and debris
slamming into a structure cause most of the damage. A myth, if
you are caught outside you should seek shelter under an overpass.
Seek shelter in a sturdy reinforced building or underground. Outdoor
shelter may provide limited protection, but your risk will be
reduced by moving inside a strong building or basement.

The national weather service issues tornado watches and warnings
To alert the public to a tornado threat. A tornado watch means
Tornadoes are possible. Continue with your daily routine, but
Be ready to take quick action should a tornado warning be issued.
A tornado warning means that tornadoes are imminent or occurring.
Seek shelter immediately, in a basement if possible.

You should prepare for tornadoes now. Develop a severe weather
safety plan. Identify safe shelters where you can go should a
tornado threaten. Know the basic weather safety terms. Keep tuned
to your favorite media outlet for the latest national weather
service statements concerning tornadoes.

At 115 pm, The National Weather Service, the New York State
Office of Emergency Management, the New York State Department
Of Education, and the New York State Broadcasters Association will
conduct a test of the hazardous weather warning system. This drill
allows us to test communications systems available during hazardous
weather situations.

NOAA Weather Radio offers one way to receive immediate relay of
tornado warnings. Many local television and radio stations
also broadcast weather alerts. Computers and wireless devices can
receive warnings. National Weather Service tornado warnings are
relayed as wireless emergency alerts to newer phones by FEMA.

For more information on Severe Weather Awareness Week, go to our
Web site Then click on eastern New York or
western New England. Finally, select our severe weather awareness

Tomorrow we look at flash floods.


DiRienzo is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.