The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service have postponed today’s statewide scheduled tornado drill since there are some thunderstorm systems moving through the area.
Jim Kramper, warning coordination meteoroligist for the National Weather Service in St. Louis, says, “When we have the threat of weather, even if it’s not necessarily going to be severe, when we have thunderstorms, we don’t really like to hold a drill because it just confuses the issue.”
“The hope is that we’ll do it Thursday around1:30 p.m., but the weather doesn’t look a whole lot better for Thursday, so we’ll probably wait and have to make a decision on Wedensday whether we’ll do it on Thursday or not.”
Statistically speaking, Kramper says the prime time for tornadic activity in Missouri is throughout April, May and June, “However, we can have severe weather pop up in any month of the year if the conditions are there.”
“In March, we start to transition from winter to spring and things start to change,” he says. “We start to have s little bit stronger systems come in and they can spawn storms … in the Midwest of the United States, if the conditions are there, we can have tornadoes. We have had devastating tornados in Missouri in every month of the year, and at virtually every hour, so it’s something we need to constantly be on guard for.”
It’s recommended people be prepared in anticipation of peak tornado season.
Kramper says the the first thing people need to do is make sure they have communication.
“Make sure they have a way to get severe weather information,” he sayd. “They need to have access to radio, television, the Internet, so they can figure out, ‘hey, is there a storm headed my way? Do I need to do something?'”
“Then they need to review their safety plans ahead of time,” he says. Whether you’re at work, at home, in your car, “you’ve got to know ahead of time ‘What do I do if I’m threatened? Where’s the safest place to go?’ If you don’t know that, and then you’re faced with that, it’s reallly too late.”