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Fall Severe Weather Tips: What You Need to Know

It seems with each passing year, Spring drifts from being the domineering severe weather time frame and the latter portions of the year are taking the stage - just last year, we had several major tornado events from October to December, with multiple tornadoes touching down in our core viewing area of the Tennessee Valley. As we head into what some have dubbed "the second season", it'd be prudent to take a look at some information regarding safety tips and preparedness advice for the next few months.

NWS Nashville stats showing tornado counts by month. Notice the uptick in the Fall and Winter.

NWS Huntsville stats showing tornado counts by month. Notice the uptick in the Fall and Winter in this region, too.

While the core threats are the same, one must consider some variables that differentiate this seasons severe weather from the warm season:

  • TORNADOES MOVE FAST - Often times, these systems are driven by strong jet streams, which provides plentiful motion for storms. At times, they can move in excess of 60mph.

  • DAYLIGHT IS LIMITED - As we lose daylight in the fall and winter months, it becomes even more difficult than it already is to spot tornadoes, making them very elusive and often more dangerous than their daylight counterparts.

These factors make for heightened danger in the late season, but you and your loved ones can take some simple steps to keep yourself safe if severe weather threatens:

STAY WEATHER AWARE: as you all know, fall doesn't equal calm. Keep your eye on the forecast! HAVE RESERVES: If push comes to shove and your family is left without resources or power, having some reserve supplies of food, water, and power will pay off in a big way. KNOW YOUR PLAN: If you live in the Valley, you almost definitely have a severe weather plan. If you don't, make a plan, and rehearse it a couple times to really embed it in your muscle memory so that you know precisely what to do if the time comes.

KEEP BATTERIES ON HAND: Some of the most valuable assets in severe weather, such as flashlights and weather radios rely on batteries. When seconds count, make sure they're charged up and ready to go.

KEEP RELEVANT DOCUMENTS SAFE: It's certainly not fun to think about, but if you and your family ends up in a situation with damage or injury, having relevant documents easily accessible will ease the load on your mind in a stressful time.

Some of the best ways to stay informed are also some of the easiest to get a hold of - our free TN VALLEY WEATHER App on the App Store and Google Play is one main source of our handcrafted daily forecasts, and if severe weather approaches, you can view us there, live, nonstop until the danger is over.

If you need a surefire way to be woken up or urgently alerted to the issuance of warnings in your area, a NOAA Weather Radio will almost always do the trick - these simple-to-set up radios blare warnings very loudly, and also specify the type of warning. These can often be found at local markets or hardware stores, and at times, we link up with our partners in the EMA and NWS to do giveaways. With all of these tips and assets at your fingertips, you have everything you need to prepare you and your loved ones for severe weather season, and get through it safe and sound!

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