OUR VIEW: Heed the warnings with bad weather loomingAs the spring storm season hits its stride, we urge all area residents to pay attention to the skies and the warnings that, like clockwork, pop up this time of year.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
South Dakotans have plenty of experience with tornadoes, and we like to think they do a good job of heeding the warnings and advice of experts when severe weather approaches.
Tornadoes over the weekend caused deaths in Oklahoma. Many are saying that early warnings saved many more lives, as forecasters spent part of last week casting dire predictions when nasty storms were brewing.
The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., even took the unusual step of sending out special warnings more than 24 hours in advance of what it called a possible “high-end, life-threatening event.”
Good idea by the NWS. In the day that followed, at least 120 reports of tornadoes dotted the landscape in Tornado Alley, including at least a couple in southern South Dakota.
We hope the National Weather Service continues to take these unusual steps in the future. We suspect the unfortunate side effect is that warnings eventually lose their luster, and people become complacent. When we hear that the sky is falling over and over again, we do tend to gain a certain nonchalance about severe weather.
As the spring storm season hits its stride, we urge all area residents to pay attention to the skies and the warnings that, like clockwork, pop up this time of year. Lives depend on our own ability to heed warnings, take shelter and protect our families.
The National Weather Service’s unusual step over the weekend probably saved more than a few lives.
Unfortunately, a few souls still perished in the nasty storms that spawned from that system, but it could have been worse.
Please, pay attention when severe weather looms.