Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PUEBLO COLORADO
600 AM MDT THU APR 17 2014

...STRONG STRAIGHT LINE WINDS AND LARGE HAIL ARE MAJOR WEATHER
THREATS IN COLORADO...

DURING THIS SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK IN COLORADO...REMEMBER
THAT THREATS FROM THUNDERSTORMS INCLUDE TORNADOS...STRAIGHT LINE
WINDS...HAIL...FLOODING...AND LIGHTNING.

TORNADOS ARE OFTEN THE HEADLINE STORY...BUT DAMAGING STRAIGHT LINE
WINDS CAN ALSO INJURE AND KILL ANIMALS AND HUMANS. THESE WINDS ARE
USUALLY CAUSED BY AN AREA OF AIR WITHIN A STORM WHICH IS QUICKLY
COOLED BY PRECIPITATION...OR THE EVAPORATION OF PRECIPITATION. THIS
AREA OF COOLED AIR...WHICH IS HEAVIER THAN THE SURROUNDING
AIR...ACCELERATES DOWNWARD. AS THE COOL AIR SLAMS INTO THE
GROUND...IT SPREADS OUT FROM THE AREA OF IMPACT. THIS PROCESS...IN
EXTREME CASES...CAN RESULT IN WIND SPEEDS EXCEEDING 100 MPH.
WEATHER FORECASTERS CALL THESE WINDS MICROBURSTS IF THEY ARE LESS
THAN 2 1/2 MILES ACROSS AND MACROBURSTS IF THEY ARE GREATER THAN 2
1/2 MILES ACROSS.

THESE DOWNBURSTS OF COOL AIR CAN BE LIFE THREATENING TO PILOTS...
AND CAN CAUSE EXTENSIVE DAMAGE...INJURIES...AND DEATHS AT GROUND
LEVEL. TRY TO GET INDOORS DURING ALL STORMS...BECAUSE HIGH WINDS CAN
SUDDENLY DEVELOP...CAUSING THINGS ON THE GROUND TO BECOME SWIFTLY
MOVING MISSILES...THAT CAN INJURE OR KILL.

HAIL OFTEN OCCURS IN COLORADO. HAIL FORMS WITHIN STORMS AS LIQUID
WATER FREEZES IN THE COLD MID AND UPPER LEVELS OF THE STORMS. THE
HAILSTONES ARE KEPT ALOFT BY STRONG UPDRAFT WINDS FOR A TIME...AND
THEN CASCADE TO THE GROUND.  IN COLORADO...HAILSTONES VARY FROM PEA
SIZE...AROUND 3/8 OF AN INCH IN DIAMETER...TO SOFTBALL SIZE...AROUND
4 1/2 INCHES IN DIAMETER.

HAILSTONES CAN DO TREMENDOUS DAMAGE TO CROPS...EITHER AS LARGE
HAILSTONES...OR AS A LARGE VOLUME OF SMALL HAILSTONES THAT
ACCUMULATE TO A DEPTH OF SEVERAL INCHES. LARGE HAIL DAMAGES
VEHICLES AND BUILDINGS...AND CAN BE LIFE THREATENING TO ANIMALS AND
PEOPLE.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNINGS FOR
WINDS OF 58 MPH OR HIGHER OR FOR LARGE HAIL ONE INCH IN DIAMETER OR
LARGER. WHEN YOU HEAR ABOUT A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING...MOVE TO
SHELTER.

WHEN THUNDERSTORMS THREATEN YOU THIS SEVERE WEATHER SEASON...TUNE TO
NOAA ALL HAZARDS WEATHER RADIO. WHEREVER YOU ARE DURING THREATENING
WEATHER...PLAN OUT THE ACTIONS YOU WOULD TAKE IF SEVERE WEATHER WERE
TO STRIKE.

TOM MAGNUSON
WARNING COORDINATION METEOROLOGIST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PUEBLO COLORADO


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