Severe Weather Awareness Week: March 3rd - March 9th - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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Severe Weather Awareness Week: March 3rd - March 9th

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Despite winter's chill lingering into the first week of March, sure enough it will warm up as spring blossoms across northeast Ohio.

Unfortunately, one of the things that accompanies the arrival of more comfortable weather is the threat for severe thunderstorms.

Ohio may not lay in the heart of "Tornado Alley", but the state does average 16 tornadoes per year.

Large hail, fast-moving floods and fierce thunderstorm winds also pose a threat to lives and property, especially during the months of May and June.

That said, severe thunderstorms can occur as early as March and just last year there were six tornadoes across the state during an outbreak on March 2.

Severe Weather Awareness Week is an opportunity for Ohioans to go over their disaster and communication plans, prepare an emergency kit and practice safety drills.

The statewide tornado drill in Ohio will take place on Wednesday, March 6th at 9:50 a.m.

Below you will some safety tips to for you and your family.

Weather Safety Information

Watch vs. Warning

In general, a watch tells you that conditions are favorable and there is a good chance the event may happen. When a watch is issued, keep an eye on the sky for changing conditions and make preparations in case a weather warning is issued. Watches are intended to heighten public awareness of the situation. A warning means that a weather event is IMMINENT. Measures should be taken to safeguard life and property IMMEDIATELY.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch: A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for development of severe thunderstorms. While not anticipated, tornadoes may occur in the watch area.

Tornado Watch: A Tornado Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning: When a Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued, tornadoes and/or severe thunderstorms are occurring and have been spotted or detected by radar. The National Weather Service (NWS) defines a severe thunderstorm as having winds 50 knots (58 mph) or hail greater than 3/4" in diameter (about dime-sized).

Tornado Warning: When a Tornado Warning is issued, tornadoes are occurring and have been spotted or detected by radar. There is IMMINENT DANGER for people in the area warned. The size of the warning area is generally one or two counties and usually lasts less than an hour. Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Put as many walls between you and the tornado as possible on the lowest floor of your building. If you do not have a basement, seek shelter in an interior bathroom or closet. Get under something sturdy. Protect your head.

 
Tornado Safety Tips (click link for information)
 
Tornado Facts (click link for information)
 
Thunderstorm / Lightning Safety Tips (click link for information)
 
Thunderstorm / Lightning Facts (click link for information)
 
If and when severe weather happens we urge you to share and storm damage with us.  Click here to submit a Storm Report.  We also encourage you to send us any weather related photos.  Photos can be sent to weatherpics@wfmj.com.  While we encourage you to send us this information, we want to remind you to remember safety first.  Do not put yourself danger to take photos or obtain information.
 
When severe weather does hit the Valley stay with Storm Team 21 and 21 News for the very latest.
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