Over 100 people gathered in Salina Wednesday evening to learn a little about severe weather. National Weather Service Meteorologist Chance Hayes presented the “Storm Fury On The Plains” spring severe weather safety and spotter class.
Using a multi-media presentation, Hayes taught the basics of thunderstorm development, storm structure, the features to look for, and where to find them. What, when and how to report information as well as basic severe weather safety were also covered.
Hayes tells KSAL News that the his main goal is to get as many people as he can to recognize weather features, and to report them. “If the information doesn’t flow into the the National Weather Service, then it doesn’t flow out to the radio stations and the TV stations, and consequently to the masses of people who need the information to stay safe”.
In 2014 Kansas saw only 40 tornadoes, the lowest number in 25 years, and less than half of the state’s 30-year average of 81. It is the fourth-lowest total since tornado statistics began being kept in 1950. It’s also the third consecutive year of below-normal tornado totals in Kansas. While fewer tornadoes means fewer opportunities for deaths, injuries, and property damage, it also increases the chances of complacency in residents’ preparation for severe weather safety.
Hayes says “one of the things that I want people to remember is that when tornado warnings are issued here in the plains states they are legitimate warnings, they should be taken seriously, and they should be acted on as soon as possible”.
What will the the 2015 storm season bring? Hayes says that he wishes he knew. By all indications, he says that it will be a “near normal” year. And he adds, “when we talk about near normal,in the last 10 years that over 100 tornadoes a year”.
“Storm Fury on the Plains” will be presented again at several communities around the area.
Complete list of area times and locations: