The Weather Wire
June 2009 Volume 17 Number 06
Avg High - 72.0
Avg Low - 46.0
Snow - 0.0"
Season Snow - 38.1"
Precipitation - 1.30"
Avg High - 82.1
Avg Low - 53.0
Avg Snow - Trace
Avg Precip - 1.56"
Storm Prediction Center; Norman, Oklahoma
There is no such thing as guaranteed safety inside a tornado. Freak accidents happen; and the most violent tornadoes can level and blow away almost any house and its occupants. Extremely violent F5 tornadoes are very rare, though. Most tornadoes are actually much weaker and can be survived using these safety ideas...
Prevention and practice before the storm: At home, have a family tornado plan in place, based on the kind of dwelling you live in and the safety tips below. Know where you can take shelter in a matter of seconds, and practice a family tornado drill at least once a year. Have a pre-determined place to meet after a disaster. Flying debris is the greatest danger in tornadoes; so store protective coverings (e.g., mattress, sleeping bags, thick blankets, etc) in or next to your shelter space, ready to use on a few seconds' notice. When a tornado watch is issued, think about the drill and check to make sure all your safety supplies are handy. Turn on local TV, radio or NOAA Weather Radio and stay alert for warnings. Forget about the old notion of opening windows to equalize pressure; the tornado will blast open the windows for you! If you shop frequently at certain stores, learn where there are bathrooms, storage rooms or other interior shelter areas away from windows, and the shortest ways to get there. All administrators of schools, shopping centers, nursing homes, hospitals, sports arenas, stadiums, mobile home communities and offices should have a tornado safety plan in place, with easy-to-read signs posted to direct everyone to a safe, close by shelter area. Schools and office building managers should regularly run well-coordinated drills. If you are planning to build a house, especially east of the Rockies, consider an underground tornado shelter or an interior "safe room".
Know the signs of a tornado: Weather forecasting science is not perfect and some tornadoes do occur without a tornado warning. There is no substitute for staying alert to the sky. Besides an obviously visible tornado, here are some things to look and listen for:
WHAT TO DO...
In a house with a basement: Avoid windows. Get in the basement and under some kind of sturdy protection (heavy table or work bench), or cover yourself with a mattress or sleeping bag. Know where very heavy objects rest on the floor above (pianos, refrigerators, waterbeds, etc.) and do not go under them. They may fall down through a weakened floor and crush you.
In a house with no basement, a dorm, or an apartment: Avoid windows. Go to the lowest floor, small center room (like a bathroom or closet), under a stairwell, or in an interior hallway with no windows. Crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down; and cover your head with your hands. A bath tub may offer a shell of partial protection. Even in an interior room, you should cover yourself with some sort of thick padding (mattress, blankets, etc.), to protect against falling debris in case the roof and ceiling fail.
In an office building, hospital, nursing home or skyscraper: Go directly to an enclosed, windowless area in the center of the building -- away from glass and on the lowest floor possible. Then, crouch down and cover your head. Interior stairwells are usually good places to take shelter, and if not crowded, allow you to get to a lower level quickly. Stay off the elevators; you could be trapped in them if the power is lost.
In a mobile home: Get out! Even if your home is tied down, you are probably safer outside, even if the only alternative is to seek shelter out in the open. Most tornadoes can destroy even tied-down mobile homes; and it is best not to play the low odds that yours will make it. If your community has a tornado shelter, go there fast. If there is a sturdy permanent building within easy running distance, seek shelter there. Otherwise, lie flat on low ground away from your home, protecting your head. If possible, use open ground away from trees and cars, which can be blown onto you.
At school: Follow the drill! Go to the interior hall or room in an orderly way as you are told. Crouch low, head down, and protect the back of your head with your arms. Stay away from windows and large open rooms like gyms and auditoriums.
In a car or truck: Vehicles are extremely dangerous in a tornado. If the tornado is visible, far away, and the traffic is light, you may be able to drive out of its path by moving at right angles to the tornado. Otherwise, park the car as quickly and safely as possible -- out of the traffic lanes. [It is safer to get the car out of mud later if necessary than to cause a crash.] Get out and seek shelter in a sturdy building. If in the open country, run to low ground away from any cars (which may roll over on you). Lie flat and face-down, protecting the back of your head with your arms. Avoid seeking shelter under bridges, which can create deadly traffic hazards while offering little protection against flying debris.
In the open outdoors: If possible, seek shelter in a sturdy building. If not, lie flat and face-down on low ground, protecting the back of your head with your arms. Get as far away from trees and cars as you can; they may be blown onto you in a tornado.
In a shopping mall or large store: Do not panic. Watch for others. Move as quickly as possible to an interior bathroom, storage room or other small enclosed area, away from windows.
In a church or theater: Do not panic. If possible, move quickly but orderly to an interior bathroom or hallway, away from windows. Crouch face-down and protect your head with your arms. If there is no time to do that, get under the seats or pews, protecting your head with your arms or hands.
AFTER THE TORNADO...
Keep your family together and wait for emergency personnel to arrive. Carefully render aid to those who are injured. Stay away from power lines and puddles with wires in them; they may still be carrying electricity! Watch your step to avoid broken glass, nails, and other sharp objects. Stay out of any heavily damaged houses or buildings; they could collapse at any time. Do not use matches or lighters, in case of leaking natural gas pipes or fuel tanks nearby. Remain calm and alert, and listen for information and instructions from emergency crews or local officials.
This information can also be found on the web at: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/safety.html
With the widespread precipitation of the last several months, little areas of drought remain in Colorado.
The map below shows forecasted temperature deviances for June 2009. As can be seen, it is expected that much of Colorado to have above normal temperatures for the month of June 2009, with far eastern Colorado expected to have normal temperatures.
The map below shows forecasted precipitation deviances for June 2009. Normal precipitation is anticipated for all Colorado June 2009.
Little in the way of drought remains in Colorado, with no changes expected.
May of 2009 was above normal and temperature and below normal in precipitation, at least at DIA. Many areas of Denver received much more rainfall than the 1.30" reported at DIA. Many locations ranged form 2.0-4.0" or more of monthly rain which continues the wet weather pattern we have experienced since the last week of April. There were 9 thunderstorm days reported and 13 days with measurable precipitation, both of which were above normal. Usually we get at least one last freeze in the Denver area during May and even some snow, but this year we no snow was observed and temperatures remained above freezing the entire month. The next time we will experience temperatures below freezing again will likely be in early October. One statistic that sticks out is the percent of possible sunshine was only 49% compared to 64% on average. The highest temperature during the month was 90 degrees and it set a single day record on the 19th.
The wet weather pattern has continued into June with above normal precipitation already for the month and we have two more weeks to go. Temperatures are also well below normal so far with active weather nearly every day. June is Colorado's prime time for severe weather as upper level disturbances interact with increasing heat and moisture at the surface. These upper level winds are not as strong as in the winter but supply the needed wind shear that allows thunderstorms to rotate and produce large hail and tornadoes. These type of thunderstorms are called supercell thunderstorms. Already this month there has been numerous tornadoes reported and damaging hail all over eastern Colorado. This trend will likely continue, but there should be some 2-3 day breaks developing between the active weather days near the end of the month.
Sunrise/Sunset (Jul - December Denver area)
May 2009 to October 2009