Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Des Moines, IA

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
639 AM CDT THU MAR 26 2015

...THIS IS SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK IN IOWA...

GOVERNOR TERRY BRANSTAD...THE IOWA HOMELAND SECURITY AND
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIVISION...AND THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE...HAVE DESIGNATED THE WEEK OF MARCH 23 TO MARCH 27 AS
SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK IN IOWA. EACH MORNING THIS
WEEK...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES WILL ISSUE A
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT FOCUSING ON A DIFFERENT ITEM EACH
DAY. TOPICS THIS YEAR INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING...

     MONDAY...FLASH FLOODING
     TUESDAY...WARNING RECEPTION
     WEDNESDAY...TORNADOES
     THURSDAY...SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS
     FRIDAY...FAMILY PREPAREDNESS

ATTENTION MEDIA...IN ORDER FOR SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK TO
BE EFFECTIVE...MEDIA COVERAGE IS CRITICAL. PLEASE USE THE
INFORMATION IN THE PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS IN YOUR NEWS
PROGRAMS TO HELP PROMOTE SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY. WE ALSO ENCOURAGE
MEDIA INTERVIEWS. PLEASE CONTACT JEFF ZOGG OR THE SENIOR
METEOROLOGIST IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.

YOU CAN FIND DETAILED SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION ON
OUR PREPAREDNESS PAGE. IT IS ON THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES
MOINES WEBSITE UNDER PREPAREDNESS ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE.

THE TOPIC TODAY IS SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS.

THUNDERSTORMS ARE A COMMON OCCURRENCE EACH SPRING AND SUMMER
ACROSS THE MIDWEST. EACH YEAR...IOWA SEES HUNDREDS OF SEVERE AND
NON-SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS. THUNDERSTORMS CAN BE EXTREMELY
DANGEROUS...AND MAY BRING DEADLY TORNADOES AND
LIGHTNING...DAMAGING HIGH WINDS AND HAIL...AND CAN LEAD TO FLASH
FLOODING.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNINGS
FOR THUNDERSTORMS THAT ARE PRODUCING...OR ARE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING
WINDS OF AT LEAST 58 MPH AND/OR HAIL OF AT LEAST 1 INCH IN
DIAMETER. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS MAY BE MUCH STRONGER THAN THE
MINIMUM CRITERIA.

ONE OF THE DANGERS OF THUNDERSTORMS IS LIGHTNING. LIGHTNING
CAUSES AN AVERAGE OF BETWEEN 55 AND 60 FATALITIES EACH YEAR.
LIGHTNING CAN STRIKE FROM AS FAR AS 10 MILES AWAY FROM AN AREA OF
RAIN...WHICH IS ABOUT THE DISTANCE YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER...SO IT
IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER...YOU ARE
SUSCEPTIBLE TO THE DANGERS OF LIGHTNING. WHEN THUNDER ROARS...GO
INDOORS.

OTHER THUNDERSTORM THREATS INCLUDE LARGE HAIL AND WIND. HAIL
CAUSES MORE THAN 1 BILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGE TO PROPERTY AND CROPS
EACH YEAR ACROSS THE UNITED STATES. LARGE HAIL STONES CAN FALL AT
SPEEDS FASTER THAN 100 MPH. STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS CAN CAUSE DAMAGE
EQUIVALENT TO A STRONG TORNADO. STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS CAN SOMETIMES
EXCEED 125 MPH...THE STRENGTH OF A CATEGORY 3 HURRICANE.

BEFORE A THUNDERSTORM THREATENS...KNOW THE COUNTY IN WHICH YOU
LIVE AND THE NAMES OF NEARBY MAJOR CITIES...AND LISTEN FOR THIS
INFORMATION IN SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNINGS. CHECK THE WEATHER
FORECAST BEFORE LEAVING TO BE OUTDOORS FOR EXTENDED PERIODS. KEEP
A NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR AM/FM RADIO WITH A BATTERY BACKUP WITH
YOU.

TO STAY SAFE WHEN A THUNDERSTORM APPROACHES...MOVE TO A STURDY
BUILDING. DO NOT TAKE SHELTER IN SMALL SHED...UNDER ISOLATED
TREES...OR IN CONVERTIBLE AUTOMOBILES. IF LIGHTNING IS OCCURRING
AND A STURDY SHELTER IS NOT AVAILABLE...GET INSIDE A HARD TOP
AUTOMOBILE AND KEEP THE WINDOWS UP. GET OUT OF BOATS AND AWAY FROM
WATER. DO NOT TAKE BATHS OR SHOWERS AND STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
WWW.WEATHER.GOV/DESMOINES

$$


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