A week ago today, an unusual January tornado outbreak struck Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas and Wisconsin. So far, the total number of tornadoes reported is up to 71! Obviously, this outbreak of tornadoes so early in the year caught many people off guard. Check out this link to a recording of the 911 system in Kenosha County, Wisconsin. Many of the "emergency" calls to 911 were simple inquires to why the sirens were going off.
This recording should be an example of what NOT to do during severe weather. I understand that in January, most people are not thinking tornadoes. However, one should NEVER call 911 to ask the emergency dispatcher a simple weather question. If the sirens go off, folks must turn on the TV, radio or weather radio (or some other form of communications) to get their critical weather information. Please reserve 911 for what it's intended for: emergencies only!
This event is also an important reminder that we must always keep our guard up when dealing with Mother Nature. If you hear us talking about severe weather chances for the viewing area, it should be your cue to check back with us, either on the air or online. This will become increasingly important as the Spring months draw near.
On a side note, it was very odd to see some of the damage photos afterwards from Wisconsin and Illinois. In some cases, melting piles of snow (cleared from the pavement from earlier weather events) are seen along with the debris!