Severe thunderstorms can strike anytime even though they are most prevalent when temperatures are warm. Bradley County is one of the communities which can experience warmer winter weather which can be an element of severe thunderstorms and other weather events.
Many changes in the way word reaches residents of severe weather have come about during the past few years, including SkyWarn.
The National Weather Service describes a severe thunderstorm as a storm in which winds reach up to 58 mph.
Weather spotters associated with SkyWarn use their skills to collect information and pass it along to meteorologists who then determine watches and warnings. This is just one of the means of public information dissemination about severe weather.
Severe thunderstorms are most prevalent during the spring months of March, April and May, but as the seasons change, November and December become secondary months where storms can form.
“Most of the storm damage in the South is caused by ‘straight-line winds’ from thunderstorm downbursts. Severe thunderstorm winds may exceed the wind speeds of weak tornadoes and all thunderstorms are capable of producing deadly lightning,” according to the NWS.
“There are a number of resources available to our concerned residents for obtaining information on severe weather,” said Troy Spence, director of the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency.
Nixle.com was instituted recently as well as Tennessee Emergency Management Agency’s Ready TN cellphone application.
Both provide an immeasurable resource to alert the public to locally severe weather. CBCEMA also has a Facebook and Twitter account which provides information during weather events or other potential emergencies in the community.
“We particularly recommend the purchase and use of a NOAA Weather Radio, which offers not only current forecast information, but special weather alert bulletins as soon as severe weather watches or warnings are posted. Bradley County operates on frequency 162.550 MHz. Commercial radio and television stations are encouraged to utilize NOAA Weather Radios, and may freely rebroadcast Weather Radio broadcasts,” said Spence.
Weather radios are available at a number of retail and pharmaceutical stores.
Bradley County is a StormReady community.
Weather spotters, ham radio operators, and others watch for conditions in weather fronts which could turn severe in minutes.
Thunderstorms produce deadly lightning, hail, high winds and even tornadoes.
Tornado drills will be practiced in Bradley County and Cleveland schools on Wednesday.
Officials encourage everyone to pay attention to weather information.
“For continued emergency preparedness and awareness needs, the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency can be contacted via telephone at 423-728-7289, and by fax at 423-472-8265.
A link to the BCEMA website can be reached by going to www.bradleyco.net. To sign up for Nixle.com, visit that website. Ready TN can be accessed through the TEMA website.