April 16th Through April 22nd is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan

April 15, 2017

Marquette, MIApril 15, 2017 – Now that the harshest cold of winter is now in the rearview mirror, the warmth of spring and summer will soon be returning to Michigan.  With the arrival of the new seasons, come the threats from spring and summertime severe weather. As another severe weather season approaches, Governor Rick Snyder has declared April 16 – April 22, 2017, as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan.

Severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, and tornadoes were responsible for two deaths and over $160 million in damages across the state of Michigan last summer.  While the state saw a near average 16 tornadoes, six of those tornadoes actually touched down across the U.P. which was a record. In addition to the tornadoes, severe thunderstorms with high winds and flash flooding resulted in millions of dollars in damages to parts of the western U.P.  Despite some very close calls from flooding and falling trees, there were fortunately no serious severe weather-related injuries across the U.P. last year.

A Statewide Tornado Drill on Wednesday, April 19th, at 1:30 PM EDT will be a part of this year’s Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan.  National Weather Service Offices across the state will simultaneously issue a live Test Tornado Warning via NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards so citizens can practice their tornado sheltering plans.  Residents of the U.P. are encouraged to participate in the drill and practice their sheltering plans for not only tornadoes but other severe weather hazards such as high winds, hail, and lightning during this time.

In the weeks following Michigan’s Severe Weather Awareness Week, meteorologists from the National Weather Service in Marquette will be visiting most of the counties across Upper Michigan providing storm spotter training. The presentations are a great way for residents to be significantly involved in the weather warning process by relaying important, potentially lifesaving, weather information to the National Weather Service during times of active weather.  A schedule of presentations can be found at www.weather.gov/mqt. The presentations are free and open to all.

During Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan, the National Weather Service is encouraging residents across the state to review severe weather safety procedures.  Plan ahead.  Be sure everyone in your household knows where to go and what to do when severe weather threatens. The best time to prepare for severe weather is before it happens. Being weather ready is a collective effort. It takes the whole community to effectively prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against damages caused by severe weather. Additional severe weather awareness week and weather safety information can be found at www.weather.gov/mqt.

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