WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Severe Weather Awareness Week 2011

Posted February 27, 2011 6:21 p.m. EST

We enjoyed a beautiful day today — lots of sunshine, comfortable temperatures, and a nice breeze.  If you're anything like me, you probably jumped at the chance to give the heater a break by opening the windows and letting the outdoors inside for a while.

The gradual change in seasons from winter to spring seems to be underway, and that means a lot of things.  In North Carolina, one of those things is the chance for severe weather.  The state sees hundreds of thunderstorms every year, and some of those will rise to the level of "severe" — producing 58 mph wind gusts, hail of 1" in diameter or larger, or a tornado.  We also must contend with flash flooding, lightning, and other hazards.

As we begin to spend more time outdoors, we need to pay attention to the signs nature is sending us about the weather.  Our hope is that this statewide Severe Weather Awareness Week can be a quick reminder of those signs, the process of alerting you about severe weather (including watches and warnings — know the difference?), and how to stay safe.  The good news is that staying safe is usually pretty easy and makes common sense.

Stay tuned this week for a quick tour of the kinds of wild spring (and fall!) weather we can get here in North Carolina!