By Colin Foster
Soon enough, March Madness will be upon us, the Major League Baseball season will kickoff with opening day, the grass will be greener, birds will be chirping and flowers will bloom.
For now, though, people will just have to wait and see what kind of weather the spring season brings.
According to Andy Hatzos, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Wilmington, warmer temperatures are in the forecast in the upcoming days, but there’s really no indication if spring temperatures will be below or above average, according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.
“It looks like for (Miami County), the temperatures will go up on Friday and Saturday, maybe getting to the mid to upper 40s and maybe even the 50s, then it will be cooling down Sunday,” Hatzos said.
The National Weather Service in Wilmington is calling for the high to be near 50 degrees on Monday … quite the difference from the below zero temperatures and severe winter weather people in the Miami Valley were experiencing just a few short weeks ago.
Of course, the spring season brings a new type of severe weather threat — and, in light of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, the National Weather Service in Wilmington and the Northern Miami Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross want to make sure people are prepared for when severe weather strikes.
“Here in the Ohio Valley, pretty much all types of severe weather are possible; strong winds, hail, tornadoes and flooding … these are all possible and we want people to all have plans in place to know how to deal with those situations,” Hatzos said. “The most important thing for severe weather is for people to realize they have multiple means to attain significant watches and warnings in their areas.”
The American Red Cross has many different free apps available for download — including apps for tornado warnings, hurricanes, earthquakes, finding shelter and first aid. More information on severe weather and apps can be found by visiting redcross.org.
The Red Cross has also teamed with Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to prepare for severe weather situations.
According to the NOAA website, each year, many people in the country are killed or seriously injured by all types of extreme weather, despite advanced warning. In 2012, more than 450 fatalities and nearly 2,600 injuries occurred due to extreme weather, like tornadoes, hurricanes, extreme heat, floods and wildfires.
NOAA, FEMA, the American Red Cross and their partners are encouraging people to be apart of “Weather-Ready Nation.” They want people to know the risks that come along with severe weather, to take action and be a force with nature, and be an example.
The goal for the project is to motivate individuals and communities to take actions that will prepare them in the event of a weather disaster and to share their level of preparedness with others.