Severe Weather Awareness

Severe Weather occurs with little to no warning.  Make sure you always have more than one way to be notified of severe weather events. 

Stay tuned for storm warnings:

  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
  • Know what a tornado Watch and tornado Warning mean:
  • A tornado Watch means a tornado is possible in your area.
  • A tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
  • Tornado Watches and Warnings are issued by the County based on information received from trained "Severe Weather Spotters" or from the "National Weather Service" office.

When a Tornado Watch is issued

  • Gather lawn and patio furniture, gas and charcoal grills, toys and garbage cans and put in secure area. High winds often precede a tornado.
  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for further updates.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Blowing debris or the sound of an approaching tornado may alert you. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.

When a Tornado Warning is issued:

  • If you are inside, go to the safe place you picked to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. The tornado may be approaching your area.
  • If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
  • If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety (as above).

After the Tornado passes:

  • Watch out for fallen power lines and do not venture into the damaged area.
  • Listen to the radio for information and instructions.
  • Use a flashlight to inspect your home for damage.

Did you Know?

  • A typical thunderstorm lasts for less than an hour.
  • 1,800-2,000 thunderstorms occur around the world at any moment.
  • Flash floods and lightning will kill more people annually than tornadoes.
  • Tornadoes are the most devastating local storms experienced on earth.
  • In Wisconsin, tornadoes have occurred in every month except February.
  • In Wisconsin the most active tornado months, by order are June, July, May and August.
  • 75% of tornadoes will occur between 3:00 - 7:00 pm with 5:00 pm being the most likely time.
  • Between 1980-2007, Washington County had 11 tornadoes.
  • The last confirmed tornado in Washington County occurred on June 3, 2007