Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Wilmington, NC

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000 NOUS42 KILM 021135 PNSILM 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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