Severe weather awareness week begins Thursday

Published 11:25 am Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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Kentucky Today

Kentucky is no stranger to severe weather, and the last three years have shown that being prepared for and knowing how/what to do in an emergency is crucial for response, recovery and, most importantly, survival.

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March 1-7 has been proclaimed by Gov. Andy Beshear as Severe Weather Awareness Week. During this week the National Weather Service offices across the state and Kentucky Emergency Management, will be promoting spring weather safety.

“It is never a question of if, but the reality of when,” said Emergency Management Director Jeremy Slinker when asked about severe weather preparedness. “The last few years have taught everyone in Kentucky that being prepared at all times is not something we can put off till next week, next month, or even tomorrow. We must be proactive in taking steps today. That is exactly what severe weather awareness week is all about.”

The NWS is the official agency for issuing severe weather watches, warnings and advisories to alert the public when dangerous weather conditions are expected.

“Severe weather, including tornadoes, can occur anytime day or night,” said NWS Louisville Warning Coordination Meteorologist Mike Kochasic. “As part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, strongly consider having multiple ways to receive life-saving messages, so you’re ready to move to safety at any hour of the day.”

In 2022, Kochasic said Kentucky communities had between 110 and 130 thunderstorm risk days, some of which included large hail, damaging winds, flash flooding and tornadoes; roughly one out of every three days.

This week, Kentuckians are encouraged to:

• Watch the KET Severe Weather special airing Wednesday  1 at 8 p.m. and March 3 at 4 p.m.

• Join the National Weather Service for a Kentucky-wide tornado drill Wednesday at 10:07 a.m.

• Participate in the tornado drill via the NWS virtual Facebook event at for contests and prizes.

• Be sure to follow KYEM and NWS on your preferred social media for all kinds of severe weather awareness content, and share what you are doing to practice preparedness in your everyday life, using the hashtags #SWAW23, #KYEM and #KYNWS.

In 2022, Kentucky had between 110 and 130 thunderstorm risk days, some of which included large hail, damaging winds, flash flooding and tornadoes.  This is roughly one out of every three days of the year that Kentuckians are exposed to lightning risk, among other thunderstorm hazards.