A statewide tornado drill Tuesday morning will be one of the highlights of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Kansas. Severe weather awareness will be highlighted across the state all this week. It is a week where citizens are urged to become educated about severe weather, and about what to do when it threatens.
This past year was an active one across Kansas. There were 87 tornadoes across the state in 2019, a few tornadoes below the 1990-2019 annual normal of 89. It was the most active year across the state since 2016. 2019 was also a wet year across the state, with record rain and record flooding in some areas. According to preliminary numbers the Labette County community of Altamont set a stat record for yearly rainfall in 2019, with 75.23 inches. The community typically averages 45.06 inches of rain a year.
Experts say it could be another active season this year, coming off a mild start to 2020. This past January was one of the warmest on record in Kansas. The average high temperature was about 5 degrees warmer than normal.
Officials urge citizens and businesses not to rely solely on the outdoor warning sirens when indoors. They emphasize the fact that the outdoor sirens are just that, an outdoor warning system for citizens who are outside during severe weather to warn them to take cover.
The statewide tornado drill in Kansas will be Tuesday morning at 10:00. The drill will include test tornado warnings from the National Weather Service, activation of weather radios, and activation of outdoor warning sirens across the state. Citizens are urged to practice their own tornado plan as part of the drill.
Local media outlets and All Hazards NOAA Weather Radios are your best sources for information concerning severe weather watches and warnings.