Severe thunderstorms, winds possible Thursday, Friday
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Feb 18, 2014 | 1158 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print


There is a possibility of unstable and possibly severe weather in the area later this week, though not in the form of snow, according to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center.

The system has the potential to produce conditions such as thunderstorms and damaging winds.

Thursday and Friday are expected to be warmer than what Bradley County and most of the South have experienced this winter. Since the approaching front is expected during the evening hours in Bradley County, the atmosphere should not be quite as unstable as temperatures cool.

A high near or in the 70s is forecast Thursday as a wave of weather energy moves across the Plains toward the East Coast.

According to the NWS, “within a moistening/destabilizing warm sector, expect thunderstorms to develop along the front during the afternoon (Thursday). It appears damaging winds will become relatively widespread by late afternoon and continuing through the evening.”

Severe Weather Awareness Week began Saturday.

Yearly, the NWS along with emergency managers across the nation work to inform the public of the dangers of an unstable atmosphere, which can be a catalyst for dangerous storm activity.

“Severe weather knows no boundaries and affects every individual and because of this we are committed to ensuring the safety of our community and we’re calling on you to ‘Be a Force of Nature,’” said the Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency’s Curtis Cline. “Knowing your risk, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared and assist in saving lives.”

Tornado drills will be held Wednesday in all schools across the state.

Responders from Cleveland Fire Department, Bradley County Fire Rescue, BCEMA and the Auxiliary Communications Service will monitor drills.

Drills are one platform for preparedness. Staying informed is another. Whether through social media, weather alert radio, TV, radio or newspaper, residents need to stay updated on conditions if those conditions are favorable for severe weather, according to Cline.

Nixle, Facebook and Twitter have been a part of the warning systems for emergency management officials.

Nixle is free to Bradley County residents.

The service sends an alert to smartphones and email addresses of subscribers.

Access to Nixle is available on the CBCEMA website.

During the past few years, Bradley County and the Southeast have experienced many weather events including heavy snows, tornadoes, high winds, drought and flooding.

“Be prepared,” Cline said.

If caught in a thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado, stay alert.

- Be aware if a “Tornado Watch” is in effect.

- Know the difference between a “Tornado Watch” and a “Tornado Warning.”

- A “Watch” means tornadoes may develop. A “Warning” means a tornado has been sighted or indicated on weather radar, or conditions are ideal for producing one. Persons in the path of the tornado should seek shelter immediately.

- Remember, a thunderstorm is capable of producing a tornado with little or no warning.

- The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but they have been known to travel any direction. The speed at which they move over land can vary from 30 mph to 70 mph. Tornadoes can also remain stationary.

One very important thing to remember when threatening weather is present, is to stay close to a news source or weather radio. Heed warnings and follow instructions.

CBCEMA officials are also in the planning stage for an NWS Weather Spotters Training Class, which will be held in March at Lee University.

For additional information regarding any aspect of emergency planning, visit the CBCEMA website at www.bradleyco.net and click on the EMA link.