K-State Research and Extension News
March 08, 2012
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‘DUCK’ is New Watchword for When Storms Loom


Watches and Warnings Defined


Weather Radio Good Safety Tool for Home


Climatologist Offers Flash Flood-Related Safety Tips





‘DUCK’ is New Watchword for When Storms Loom



MANHATTAN, Kan. - The National Weather Service has a new acronym to remind children and adults alike that there are key safety rules during severe storms – especially those that might lead to tornadoes. 



The acronym is DUCK – short for: Down to the lowest level; Under something sturdy; Cover your head; and Keep in the shelter until the storm has passed, said state climatologist for Kansas, Mary Knapp.



“These simple phrases can be a quick reminder for anyone of their safety plan during the chaos of a storm,” said Knapp, who directs the Kansas Weather Data Library, based at Kansas State University. She is a K-State delegate to the Extension Disaster Education Network.



The NWS’ Topeka, Kan. office has designated March 12-16 as the 2012 Kansas Severe Weather Awareness Week.



Additional safety tips are available on the National Weather Service and Federal Emergency Management Agency websites.

Information about Kansas weather is available on the Weather Data Library website.





 

 

Watches and Warnings Defined

 

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Severe Weather Awareness week is a good time to review some essential terms used to alert people about the weather.  State Climatologist Mary Knapp defined two key terms to prepare Kansans for severe weather.

 

“Watch means to do just that, watch for changing conditions.  The National Weather Service may indicate that they are expecting to issue watches several days early. Be at the ready and give more attention to the weather,” Knapp said. “Warning means that the severe event is actually occurring.  The time for planning is over.  Take action immediately.”  

 

More information about Kansas weather is available on the Kansas Weather Data Library Web site. Knapp’s audio reports are available on the K-State Research and Extension/Kansas Radio Network Web site at the Weather Wonders link.


 


 

 

Weather Radio Good Safety Tool for Home

 

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Homeowners take note - weather radios are important tools to prepare for severe weather. 

 

“Tornado sirens are for outdoor alerts only,” said Mary Knapp, Kansas state climatologist.   “If you don't have a weather radio, consider adding one to your safety supplies, as the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Radio broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day.”

 

NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from a nearby National Weather Service office. This technology allows users to select the area of interest when receiving warnings/alerts.

 

More information about Kansas weather is available on the Kansas Weather Data Library Web site.


 


 




Climatologist Offers Flash Flood-Related Safety Tips



MANHATTAN, KAN. – Springtime means warmer weather and more outdoor activity, but also an increased possibility of severe weather and flash flooding.



“Flash floods are denoted by rapidly rising waters with little or no advance warning,” said Mary Knapp, state climatologist for Kansas. “Two key factors are rainfall rates and duration. As little as a quarter of an inch of rainfall can cause a flash flood if it falls quickly enough, so roads that you drive on every day can quickly become dangerous.”



Other important factors are topography, soil conditions, and ground cover, said Knapp, who directs the Kansas Weather Data Library, based at Kansas State University. She is a K-State delegate to the Extension Disaster Education Network.



“Obviously, low lying areas are at greater risk for flooding and recurring rains on already saturated grounds increase the risk of flash flooding,” she said. “Finally, everyone should keep in mind that urbanization can increase runoff by two to five times what would occur with more natural ground cover. And streets can form fast-moving channels for that runoff.”



The NWS’ Topeka, Kan. office has declared March 12-16 as the 2012 Kansas Severe Weather Awareness Week.



Additional safety tips are available on the National Weather Service and Federal Emergency Management Agency websites.



Information about Kansas weather is available on the Weather Data Library website.

 

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K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Elaine Edwards
elainee@ksu.edu
K-State Research & Extension News

Contributing writers: Nellie Hill, Mary Lou Peter, Nancy Peterson and Kathleen Ward