WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Spring is around the corner, which means severe weather season is near. Now, is the time to prepare for emergency situations, including tornadoes and flash flooding.
Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding are possible all year, but spring and early summer are when severe weather is common in Indiana.
“With no mountains surrounding our area, very cold air can freely flow in from the north. Dry, hot air streams in from the southwest and warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. That creates a lot of severe weather for our area,” explained News 18 Chief Meteorologist Chad Evans.
When a tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service, it means conditions are favorable for tornadoes. When a tornado warning is issued, it is time to take action and seek shelter.
“When there is a tornado warning, you’re going to want to seek shelter immediately, preferably in the lowest level of your home or business and away from windows. If you don’t have a basement, a closet works or a bathroom works,” said News 18 Meteorologist Cameron Hopman.
If you are in a vehicle during a tornado warning, the best thing to do is pull over, evacuate the car and take cover in a ditch.
“A low ditch. A low area, if you can get to that is probably the safest place,” added Carroll County Emergency Management Director Dana Jeffries.
River flooding and flash flooding are other hazards to consider this severe weather season. Jeffries said it is better to avoid walking and driving through flood waters.
“First of all, you don’t know how deep it is. You don’t know if it is rising or if it is coming down. If it is rising, then it could wash your car off the roadway and into a ditch. The water may not look very deep where you’re at in the road, but if you don’t know what’s there, don’t drive into it,” said Jeffries.
Weather Team 18 also suggests having a weather radio to alert you when a severe weather watch or warning is issued.