ZCZC LITWRKPNS
TTAA00 KLIT 151058
ARZ003>007-012>016-021>025-030>034-037>047-052>057-062>069-292000-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LITTLE ROCK AR
600 AM CST MON FEB 29 2016

...TODAYS TOPIC FOR SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK IS 
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE...IN COOPERATION WITH THE 
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT...HAS PROCLAIMED
THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 28TH THROUGH MARCH 5TH AS SEVERE WEATHER 
AWARENESS WEEK IN ARKANSAS.

A DIFFERENT TOPIC WILL BE DISCUSSED EACH DAY...AND TODAYS TOPIC
IS SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS.

AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT AROUND THE WORLD...APPROXIMATELY 1800
THUNDERSTORMS ARE OCCURRING. ALTHOUGH THUNDERSTORMS ARE RELATIVELY
SMALL...WHEN CONSIDERED ON A GLOBAL SCALE OF WEATHER...ALL
THUNDERSTORMS ARE DANGEROUS. LIGHTNING...FLASH FLOODS...HAIL...
STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS...AND TORNADOES ALL RESULT FROM THUNDERSTORMS.

A THUNDERSTORM IS CONSIDERED SEVERE WHEN IT PRODUCES WINDS OF AT
LEAST 58 MPH...HAIL AT LEAST 1 INCH IN DIAMETER /THE SIZE OF A
QUARTER/...AND/OR A TORNADO. 

HAIL FORMS IN STORM CLOUDS WHERE THE AIR IS SUBFREEZING.
UPDRAFTS WHICH FEED STORM CLOUDS DRIVE RAINDROPS SKYWARD...AND
LIQUID TURNS TO ICE. QUITE OFTEN...HAILSTONES WILL FALL THROUGH 
THE CLOUD...COLLECT WATER...AND UPDRAFTS WILL FORCE THEM ALOFT.
THE STONES REFREEZE AND GET LARGER.

IN 2015...HAIL THE SIZE OF SOFTBALLS WAS REPORTED NEAR PORTIA
/LAWRENCE COUNTY/ ON APRIL 9TH. THESE WERE THE LARGEST STONES
OF THE YEAR ACROSS THE STATE. SEVERAL STORMS PRODUCED HAIL AT
LEAST BASEBALL SIZE FROM MID-MARCH TO MID-APRIL.  

LARGE HAIL...ON AVERAGE...CAUSES OVER ONE BILLION DOLLARS IN 
DAMAGE /PROPERTY AND CROPS/ IN THE UNITED STATES EACH YEAR. SOME 
INJURIES DUE TO LARGE HAIL OCCUR IN THIS COUNTRY EACH YEAR...BUT 
DEATHS FROM HAIL ARE RELATIVELY RARE. ANIMALS FARE FAR WORSE THAN 
HUMANS.

WHEN UPDRAFTS ARE OVERCOME BY RAIN AND HAIL IN STORMS...AIR 
FROM ALOFT CAN DESCEND IN A HURRY. WHEN THESE DOWNDRAFTS HIT 
THE GROUND AND SPREAD OUT IN ALL DIRECTIONS...DAMAGING 
STRAIGHT-LINE WIND GUSTS SOMETIMES RESULT.

IN 2015...GUSTS TO 80 MPH DOWNED TREES NEAR ATKINS /POPE COUNTY/
ON DECEMBER 23RD. ONE TREE FELL THROUGH A HOUSE...AND AN 18-YEAR-OLD
FEMALE WAS KILLED. ALTOGETHER...THERE WERE ROUGHLY THREE DOZEN
INSTANCES OF THUNDERSTORM GUSTS OF AT LEAST 75 MPH LAST YEAR.

OCCASIONALLY...THUNDERSTORMS SPAWN TORNADOES. MOST OF THESE
ARE PRODUCED IN THE SPRING AND FALL DURING THE AFTERNOON AND
EVENING. THERE ARE 33 TORNADOES IN A TYPICAL YEAR. THERE WERE
20 TORNADOES LOCALLY IN 2015...AND THESE RESULTED IN 
TWO FATALITIES.

TWO OTHER HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH THUNDERSTORMS ARE LIGHTNING
AND FLASH FLOODS. HOWEVER...THESE ARE NOT CONSIDERED SEVERE.

WHENEVER THUNDER IS HEARD...THERE IS LIGHTNING NEARBY. LIGHTNING 
IS DEADLY...ESPECIALLY IN THE SUMMER WHEN PEOPLE ARE OUTDOORS.

FLASH FLOODS ARE ANOTHER THUNDERSTORM HAZARD. VEHICLES DRIVEN 
INTO FLOODED AREAS RESULT IN THE GREATEST NUMBER OF FLASH FLOOD 
DEATHS.

ACROSS THE COUNTRY...THE TOP THREE DEADLIEST THUNDERSTORM
HAZARDS IN THE LAST 30 YEARS YEARS WERE FLASH FLOODS...
TORNADOES AND LIGHTNING /IN THAT ORDER/.  

...SOME SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY RULES...

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WATCH AND A WARNING. THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES WATCHES WHEN CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR
THE DEVELOPMENT OF SEVERE WEATHER. WARNINGS ARE RESERVED FOR
CASES WHERE SEVERE WEATHER IS IMMINENT OR OCCURRING.

IF A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING OR TORNADO WARNING IS
ISSUED FOR YOUR AREA...DO NOT HESITATE TO FIND A PLACE
OF SAFETY. IF A SAFE ROOM IS NOT AVAILABLE...THE NEXT
BEST LOCATION IS THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A PERMANANT STRUCTURE 
IN AN INTERIOR ROOM AWAY FROM WINDOWS. PUT AS MANY WALLS
BETWEEN YOU AND THE OUTDOORS AS YOU CAN.
 
MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE A SOURCE TO RECEIVE THE LATEST 
INFORMATION...SUCH AS NOAA WEATHER RADIO ALL HAZARDS... 
COMMERCIAL RADIO...TV STATIONS OR CABLE TV. OTHER SOURCES OF
WARNING INFORMATION CAN INCLUDE TELEPHONE NOTIFICATION SERVICES 
TO WHICH PEOPLE SUBSCRIBE...PAGERS AND CELL PHONES.

&&

NOTES FOR THE NEWS MEDIA...
THERE WILL NOT BE A FORMAL TORNADO DRILL THIS YEAR CONDUCTED
BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LITTLE ROCK. EVEN SO...
PEOPLE ARE ENCOURAGED TO PRACTICE GOING TO A PLACE OF SAFETY
WHEN THE NOAA WEATHER RADIO ALARM IS SOUNDED DURING THE ROUTINE 
WEEKLY TEST. THIS TEST IS ON WEDNESDAY BETWEEN 11 AM AND NOON. 
IN THE EVENT OF THREATENING WEATHER ON WEDNESDAY...THE TEST 
IS POSTPONED UNTIL THE NEXT GOOD WEATHER DAY.

FOR A LIST OF ALL THE TORNADOES AND OTHER SIGNIFICANT WEATHER
EVENTS THAT OCCURRED IN 2015...
 
HTTP://WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/IMAGES/LZK/PDF/STORMSOF2015.PDF

$$

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