Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILMINGTON NC
635 AM EDT MON MAR 02 2015


...SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK IN NORTH CAROLINA MARCH 1 TO
MARCH 7...

...TODAY`S TOPIC: SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS AND TORNADOES...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DEFINES A THUNDERSTORM AS SEVERE WHEN
IT PRODUCES A TORNADO, WIND GUST OF 58 MPH OR GREATER, AND/OR HAIL
THAT IS ONE INCH IN DIAMETER...QUARTER SIZED...OR LARGER. LASTLY ANY
THUNDERSTORM THAT PRODUCES A TORNADO IS CONSIDERED SEVERE.

TORNADOES ARE NATURES MOST VIOLENT STORMS. SPAWNED FROM POWERFUL
THUNDERSTORMS, TORNADOES CAN CAUSE FATALITIES AND DEVASTATE A
NEIGHBORHOOD IN SECONDS. A TORNADO IS A ROTATING, OFTEN FUNNEL-SHAPED
CLOUD THAT EXTENDS FROM A THUNDERSTORM TO THE GROUND WITH WINDS THAT
CAN REACH SPEEDS OF UP TO 300 MPH. THE PEAK TORNADO SEASON IN THE
CAROLINAS OCCURS IN THE MONTHS OF MARCH...APRIL AND MAY.
HOWEVER...TORNADOES HAVE OCCURRED DURING EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR.

OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS THERE HAVE BEEN THOUSANDS OF REPORTS OF
LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WIND IN THE CAROLINAS RESULTING IN OVER 100
MILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGE. THUNDERSTORMS HAVE ALSO BEEN RESPONSIBLE
FOR A NUMBER OF INJURIES AND EVEN DEATHS IN THE STATE RESULTING FROM
LIGHTNING, HIGH WIND AND TORNADOES. THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM SEASON
IN THE CAROLINAS TYPICALLY STARTS IN MARCH AND DOES NOT END UNTIL
LATE IN THE FALL. SOME OF THE MOST DAMAGING STORMS OCCUR FROM MARCH
THROUGH EARLY JULY. SEVERE WEATHER HAS OCCURRED HOWEVER DURING EVERY
MONTH OF THE YEAR.

THE RECEIPT OF ACCURATE AND TIMELY WARNINGS IS A VITAL PART OF ANY
SEVERE WEATHER PLAN THAT RAISES AWARENESS WHEN A SIGNIFICANT THREAT
IS PRESENT. WATCHES AND WARNINGS WILL BE DISCUSSED MORE THOROUGHLY
ON FRIDAY. IT IS WORTH NOTING THAT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOES
NOT ISSUE WARNINGS FOR LIGHTNING AND GIVEN THE DEADLY NATURE OF
LIGHTNING YOU SHOULD ALWAYS BE AWARE OF THE LIGHTNING DANGER ANYTIME
A THUNDERSTORM IS NEARBY. A GOOD RULE OF THUMB TO LIVE BY IS WHEN
THUNDER ROARS...GO INDOORS.

YOUR BEST LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS AND TORNADOES
IS TO STAY INFORMED.  LISTEN TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO, TELEVISION OR
LOCAL RADIO FOR THE LATEST FORECASTS AND POSSIBLE THREAT OF
THUNDERSTORMS AND SEVERE WEATHER. MOST NOAA WEATHER RADIOS HAVE THE
ABILITY TO TURN ON WHENEVER A WARNING IS ISSUED ANY TIME DAY OR
NIGHT. MANY CAN ALSO BE PROGRAMMED TO DO SO FOR ONLY THE COUNTY OR
COUNTIES CHOSEN BY THE USER. WHEN WARNINGS ARE ISSUED...TAKE ACTION
AND PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND PROPERTY. BEING SAFE IS A LOT BETTER
THAN BEING SORRY. MORE DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT WATCHES AND
WARNINGS WILL BE COVERED ON FRIDAY.

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