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MN SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK 2021

 


Minnesota has already experienced severe weather this season, and to ensure all Minnesotans are prepared for severe weather impacts, Beltrami County will be participating in Minnesota’s Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Monday, April 12th through Friday, April 16th, 2021 is Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week. Local emergency management agencies, the National Weather Service and Minnesota’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management are partnering to promote preparedness for the upcoming summer months and the hazards we face during the summer. Each day of the week will have a hazard topic and Thursday, April 15th will be tornado drill day at 1:45 and 6:45PM.

Having a source of severe weather alerts and warnings is important when dangerous weather is forecast, and Monday’s topic is alerts and warnings. Have a reliable source of NOAA Weather information in the event severe weather watches or warnings are issued. There are many mobile apps that can push weather information, and most of the population of Beltrami County has good NOAA Weather Radio coverage. Remember a watch means conditions are favorable for the development of severe weather and warnings mean it is occurring or likely to occur.

Tuesday’s topic covers the wide variety of severe weather that impacts the state from thunderstorm winds, lightning and hail. Thunderstorms can produce destructive winds in excess of 100mph, easily matching the magnitude of the majority of tornadoes. Lightning can be deadly, remember the saying: “when thunder roars, go indoors”. Hail causes around a billion dollars in damage annually and can be the size of softballs, and even larger in the most intense thunderstorms.

Flooding can be forecast and prolonged, or have a rapid onset as the result of heavy rainfall. Wednesday we observe the dangers of flooding, particularly flash flooding. Around 75% of fatalities in flash flooding events occur at night, and half of the victims died in vehicles. Never drive through flooded roadways and remember to “turn around, don’t drown”.

Tornado drill day is Thursday, April 15th. At 1:45PM and 6:45PM a simulated tornado warning will be issued so families, businesses, schools and other institutions can practice their severe weather response plans and protocols. Have an identified room on the lowest floor of your building away from exterior walls or windows to seek shelter. Beltrami County has experienced nearly 40 confirmed tornado events since 1950, with 12 of them occurring in the last 10 years.

Minnesota is known for brutally cold winters, but during the summer months we can and do experience extreme heat and that is the topic for Friday. Temperatures when combined with high dew points create high humidity, which is the opposite of the winter wind chill factor and is the “feels like” temperature. Drink plenty of water, avoid rigorous activity and limit exposure to heat when extreme temperatures occur. Never leave children or pets in vehicles on hot days. Cars can have a greenhouse effect and quickly raise temperatures to deadly levels.

Beltrami County Emergency Management will be posting daily updates during Severe Weather Awareness week on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/beltramicountyemergencymanagement or you can visit the DPS Website for

additional information: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/hsem/weather-awareness-preparedness/

Christopher Muller, Beltrami County Emergency Management Director said, “Beltrami County is not immune to severe weather, in fact we have experienced many significant severe weather events within the last ten years. The July 2nd and 4th, 2012 extreme wind events, and the July 4th, 2018 tornado that hit the City of Bemidji are just a couple examples. It is important for residents and visitors to have an identified safe shelter before severe weather hits and have a source of NOAA Weather information.”

-Christopher Muller – Beltrami County Emergency Management Director

 

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