Looking Back at York Tornadoes, Slow Start not a Season Indicator


It may not feel like it, but spring is just around the corner and severe weather season is on its way. March 2-8 marks National Severe Weather Preparedness Week and it's a good reminder to remember the risk during severe weather and how to be ready for it.

Last year saw a slow start when it came to tornado numbers. There were only 86 reports of tornadoes nationally in April. The three year average for the month is well over 300.

It's important to remember though that no matter how slowly a season starts, it is no indicator of how it will end.

Fast-forward to May and nationally 267 tornadoes were reported. The average for the month is 238.

May 29th in particular was a very active day. Thirty tornadoes were reported across the country and half of those were right here Nebraska. Most of the reports came out of York and Clay counties.

The National Weather Service of Hastings reported that one of the tornadoes actually crossed Interstate 80 just east of York, but fortunately didn't impact any motorists.

The damage was limited mainly to out buildings, trees and fencing. This brought one thing to the mind of a National Weather Service employee surveying damage at a farm last year.

"Thank goodness nobody was injured," he said. This is not always the case as tornado events can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable situations.

In May of 2013 alone, there were 41 tornado deaths nationwide caused by five killer tornadoes, and this is below average. In May, an average of 73 deaths are caused by tornadoes all across the country.

While May 29 ranks number six on the list for top tornado days last year, no tornado deaths were reported and only 2 tornado-related injuries made the list that day.

So what should you do when you hear sirens? Get inside and find more information.

A watch means you should keep an eye on weather conditions and to be prepared to get to safety if a tornado warning is issued.

If a warning is posted, you should take action right away. Get inside. Basements, bathrooms and stairwells offer the most shelter in your home.

A weather radio is a good way to stay informed if you aren't near a TV, and of course the NTV Weather Team will be ready with the latest information as severe weather rolls in.