It's the first week of March, which means spring is nearly here. Along with the sunshine and warmer weather, it's also time to start preparing for severe weather season.
February through April are the most active tornado months of the year. The spring is particularly active in the south due to the location of the Jet Stream. It often dips far south setting up a boundary between cold, dry air to the north and warm, moist air to the south. This boundary creates cold fronts which in turn create heavy thunderstorms that can quickly turn severe, even producing tornadoes. The biggest danger can be when this weather strikes at night.
"We look at weather radios as weather fire alarms basically," said Steve Pfaff, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Wilmington office, "because if you're asleep, it's three or four in the morning, you don't have TV on or the radio on, the only way you're going to know that there is a tornado warning is with a weather radio and that alarm goes and wakes you up."
Since 1997, 680 people have died due to tornadoes in the US. Eighty-two percent of those deaths were at night.
The weather service will conduct a statewide tornado drill tomorrow at 9 a.m.
Of course when severe weather threatens, make sure you're tuned in right here to WWAY. We're following it every step of the way.