Severe Weather Awareness Week March 24-28, 2014

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

The week of March 24-28, 2014 has been designated as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Nebraska and Iowa. This week is utilized by the public, government and businesses to raise awareness, prepare, test, and practice procedures for what we would do during a severe weather event. As long as no severe weather is expected or occurring, the statewide tornado drill will be conducted by the National Weather Service on the following date:

Wednesday, March 26th

Between 10 & 11 a.m. CDT

Here is the timeline:

1000 AM CDT….Drill begins.  The Storm Prediction Center issues a Test Tornado Watch for all of Iowa and Nebraska valid until 11:00 am CDT.

1010 AM CDT…Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Omaha and Sioux Falls  issues a TEST Tornado Warning for their Iowa and Nebraska counties.

1100 AM CDT…Drill sequence ends.

This tornado drill presents an excellent opportunity for everyone at work, school, or home to practice their safety measure, and we hope all will participate.

Severe Weather Awareness Week provides the National Weather Service with the opportunity to test communications systems that get life saving safety information out to the public.

Across the country, the number of tornadoes reported in 2013 totaled 942. This number was down considerably compared to the last eight years which averaged 1478 tornadoes and was the lowest number of tornadoes in the 61-year annual Storm Prediction Center dataset. For Nebraska, the 2013 tornado season was below the 30-year average of 54 with 49 tornadoes. For Iowa, the 2013 tornado season was significantly below the 1980-2013 average of 46 with 26 tornadoes. The severe weather season began March 19th with a brief landspout tornado that touched down near Shelton, NE. In April, April 8th and April 9th were active wind and hail days. The severe weather took a break and a rare and historic early May snow was reported across parts of central and eastern Nebraska on the 1st and 2nd. The severe weather season really took off May 17th-19th and also the week of May 24th-30th. Typically, June is the peak month for tornadoes, however this year the peak of 23 tornadoes in Nebraska and 8 tornadoes in Iowa occurred in May, with only 9 for Nebraska and 7 for Iowa in June. A second peak of tornadoes occurred in October with 9 in Nebraska and 11 in Iowa. Notably, the only EF4 for the year oc-curred on October 4th in Wayne.

As we move into spring 2014, it’s been cold and on the dry side. Spring snows, rains, and severe weather will come as the temperatures warm and seasons transi-tion. Now is the time to prepare for the inevitable severe weather, as each year brings it’s own unique challenges. The National Weather Service has declared March 24th – 28th as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Nebraska and Iowa. This week, and really the whole month, gives us the opportunity to review our severe weather plan, brush up on severe weather terms and actually participate in the statewide Tornado Warning drill on Wednesday, March 26th. Now is the time to take this opportunity to prepare, even for just a few minutes. It could cost us all in the end.

All the National Weather Services offices serving Nebraska encourage you to be an active participant in this year’s Severe Weather Awareness Week. Last year Wayne was hit by an EF4 tornado. Do you think the residents of that community won’t be ready for the next tornado? You can bet they will be ready. Don’t let disaster strike before you are ready. Use Severe Weather Awareness Week to make sure your area is “Weather-Ready” for whatever lies ahead.

Social media has grown tremendously over the last few years! Each National Weather Service office strives to have a strong presence on both Facebook and Twitter. If you would like to follow us on either, it is easy to do. Just go to the homepage of the office you want to follow and click on both logos in the upper left hand corner of the page. It is important to note that Facebook and Twitter are not the main channels for National Weather Ser-vice products, but a way to connect with our customers. We encourage you to post comments and photos of weather related events, and if you have questions, go ahead and ask away! Storm reports are more than welcome on our page, and fans can see other reports across the area as well.


We hope that you will find the following information useful and please stress to others the importance of tuning in to NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio, the National Weather Service website (, or a local radio or television station when severe weather strikes. Emergency sirens are designed for outdoor notification and people may not receive the warning due to indoor noise or equipment malfunctions. If you have any questions about the information given here, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 Daily Public Information Statements






Flash Flooding

Warning Reception


Severe Thunderstorms

Family Preparedness



Downloads and Links

Nebraska/Iowa Severe Weather Awareness Information Packet (Large Printable 3.8 MB PDF File-allow time to download)


Weather Spotter’s Field Guide (Large .pdf file)

Thunderstorms…Tornadoes…Lightning… Nature’s Most Violent Storms ( 1.89MB .pdf file)

Coaches & Sports Official Guide to Lightning Safety (1.4MB .pdf file)

Sky Watcher Cloud Chart (2.14MB .pdf file)

Station Listings and Coverage for NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio

Owlie Skywarn

Storms Ahead (17MB)

Tornadoes Ahead (1MB)

Floods Ahead (.8MB)

Lightning Ahead (.9MB)

StormReady Home Page