This is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Nebraska, highlighted once again by the annual statewide tornado drill Wednesday morning at 9:30 with announcements on both KCSR and KBPY. Warning sirens across the state will be part of the drill.
Chadron 911 supervisor Gale Kitchell says Severe Weather Awareness Week is an important time for individuals and agencies to get ready for tornado season.
That’s true even in Northwest Nebraska, because while it has fewer tornadoes than the rest of the state, twisters are still frequent enough that planning is needed.
National Weather Service statistics show tornadoes in Nebraska are most common in May, June, and July, but have been reported in almost every month of the year.
Kittell says Wednesday’s drill will begin with a Tornado Watch at 9:00 followed by a Tornado Warning from the National Weather Service at 9:30 AM.
At that time, the Chadron Police Department 911 Center will activate warning sirens in Chadron, Crawford, and Harrison using the 3-minute steady tone reserved for tornadoes. A code Red Test Warning will also be sent to area telephones.
While tornados get the most publicity, they usually affect only a small area while other kinds of severe weather can do more damage. Severe thunderstorms can bring damaging hail, high winds, and flash floods.
Late June, for instance, brought a storm with 2-½ to 3” hail to Dawes County. Crawford was hit the hardest with winds damaging buildings and vehicle, especially roofs and windows and windshields.