Weather Hazards – Severe Weather
(part 2 of 2)
Severe weather depends on the season of the year and the geographic location however some of the more common Spring/Summer/Fall severe weather includes flooding, tornadoes, thunderstorms, lightning, and wind.
It is important to prepare for significant or severe weather by knowing the weather forecasts for the day by watching the weather on the local news or online or through various apps like the National Weather Service (NWS), local news station apps, and other third-party apps. Most of the apps push out severe weather alerts so those are helpful to receive in a timely manner. Field operations may have portable weather stations or monitors that collect various weather data and sending it to a control center or other central location such as a local computer or control room. The data collected includes temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, wind speed & direction, lightning distance, precipitation amount, and GPS location. Some mobile field operations may use a storm and lightning monitor that will warn the user of approaching thunderstorms using text messages, and local audible alarms.
Knowing what to do when a weather “Watch” or “Warning” is issued by the National Weather Service is as important as receiving the information when one is issued. A “Watch” is issued when specific severe weather is possible in and near the watch area. The “Watch” area is typically large, covering numerous counties or even states. It is best to stay informed and be ready to act if a severe weather “Warning” is issued. A severe weather “Warning” indicates imminent danger to life and property from specific severe weather. “Warnings” typically encompass a much smaller area (around the size of a city or small county) that may be impacted by the severe weather. The severe weather has been identified by an NWS forecaster/meteorologist on radar or by a trained spotter. Take the appropriate actions based on the type of severe weather for which the “Warning” was issued.
The National Weather Service, which is a department within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a webpage devoted to weather safety titled “National Weather Service Safety Tips” listing tips for many weather-related topics including, yet not limited to, hot weather, cold weather, droughts, floods, fog, hurricanes, lightning, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and wind.
For more information and/or assistance, contact:
Wayne Vanderhoof CSP, CIT
RJR Safety Inc.