Category Archive: Severe weather

Tornado Watch Guidance

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for most of southern New York State and NJ. Click on the links for more localized information. 
A tornado watch defines an area shaped like a parallelogram, where tornadoes and other kinds of severe weather are possible in the next several hours. It does not mean tornadoes are imminent — just that you need to be alert, and to be prepared to go to safe shelter if tornadoes do happen or a warning is issued.
Recently, New Yorkers have learned that tornadoes can happen here. To learn more about personal preparedness, click here. Jewish organizations should put their tornado watch plans into effect:
  • Flying debris is the greatest hazard in most severe storms. Make sure that your sukkot and their contents are secured or brought inside. 
  • Turn on local TV or radio, turn on and set the alarm switch on your weather radio, make sure you have ready access to safe shelter, and make your friends and family aware of the potential for tornadoes in the area.
  • Keep children at school beyond regular hours if threatening weather is expected; and inform parents of this policy. Children are safer deep within a school than in a bus or car. Students should not be sent home early if severe weather is approaching, because they may still be out on the roads when it hits.
  • Lunches or assemblies in large rooms should be postponed if severe weather is approaching. As illustrated above, gymnasiums, cafeterias, and auditoriums offer no meaningful protection from tornado-strength winds. Also, even if there is no tornado, severe thunderstorms can generate winds strong enough to cause major damage.
  • Get more information tornado preparedness and planning for schools  from the National Weather Service click here.

Prepare for an “active to extremely active” hurricane season

Posted on June 15, 2010

Yes, hurricanes can strike the New York area.

An “active to extremely active” hurricane season is expected for the Atlantic Basin this year according to the seasonal outlook issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service. As with every hurricane season, this outlook underscores the importance of having a hurricane preparedness plan in place. Forecasters anticipate the following to affect the Atlantic Basin:

  • 14 to 23 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
  • 8 to 14 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
  • 3 to 7 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

To get more information (including an overview and NY area historic patterns and conditions), view an excellent presentation by I. Ross Dickman, Meteorologist-in-charge, NOAA’s National Weather Service, New York, NY office.

For preparation planning tips, see information from NYC, Nassau (including evacuation routes), Suffolk and Westchester.