NOAA06-R241
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:Jim Teet
5/3/06
NOAA News Releases 2006
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


NOAA’S NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
TO KICK OFF PACIFIC NORTHWEST SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK

NOAA’s National Weather Service forecast offices in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho will conduct the annual Pacific Northwest Severe Weather Awareness Week May 7-13. This campaign is designed to raise public attention to the dangers of severe weather in the Pacific Northwest and provide information to help residents protect life and property.

“History shows the Pacific Northwest is prone to potentially life-threatening weather, including floods, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “When National Weather Service forecasters warn the public of severe weather, it’s important for citizens to know how to react in order to protect themselves and their property.”

Details on the topics of the day for Pacific Northwest Severe Weather Awareness Week are available online at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/severeawareweek.php. Topics include:

  • May 8 - Flood and Flash Flood Safety. Summer thunderstorms can produce heavy rainfall and local flash flooding. Floods and flash floods can claim lives, especially when drivers attempt to cross a flooded roadway.
  • May 9 - Tornadoes, Tornado Safety, Special Marine Warnings. Tornadoes are not limited to Tornado Alley in the central United States. Tornadoes and their ocean and lake equivalent, waterspouts, do occur in the Pacific Northwest and can lead to fatalities and property damage.
  • May 10 - Wind, Hail, Lightning Safety. Thunderstorms produce many hazards including damaging winds, large hail, and potentially deadly lightning. There are safety measures that can be taken to decrease the odds of becoming a victim.
  • May 11 - Wildland Fire Awareness. Weather plays a large role in the ignition and spread of wildfires. Lightning from thunderstorms can ignite fires, and gusty winds can help them spread. NOAA’s National Weather Service works closely with land management agencies to help to suppress wildfires and keep firefighters safe.
  • May 12 - Watch and Warning Program. NOAA’s National Weather Service issues Outlooks, Watches and Warnings to alert the public when severe weather conditions are expected. Outlooks and watches are issued for the potential of severe weather within the next few days or even hours. A warning is an urgent message that severe weather is imminent or occurring.
  • May 13 - NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards Information. NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards provides immediate broadcasts of warnings and information pertaining to severe weather and civil emergencies. More than 90 percent of the population in the Pacific Northwest can receive NOAA Weather Radio. Receivers may be purchased online and at most electronic retailers.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

NOAA’s National Weather Service: http://www.weather.gov

Pacific Northwest Severe Weather Awareness Week information (including local media contacts): http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/severeawareweek.php