Severe Weather Preparedness

Severe Weather Hazards
The primary hazard in Seward County is sever weather / tornadoes. The Seward County area is affected by 40 to 60 thunderstorm days per year on average. The typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes. All thunderstorms are dangerous. The offspring of thunderstorms are hail, strong winds, downbursts, heavy rain, flash floods and flooding, lightning, and tornadoes.

Thunderstorms frequently occur in the late afternoon and at night. Although most likely to happen in the spring and summer months, they can occur year-round and at all hours.

Difference Between Severe Weather Watch and Warning
  • Severe Weather Watch: Potential area where these storms are likely to occur. Watches are issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma when the threat first appears. Watches are issued to heighten public awareness anywhere from two to six hours before severe weather may develop in a specific geographic area that may include 30,000 square miles.
  • Severe Weather Warning: Warnings are issued by the Weather Service Office (WSO) or Weather and Forecast Office (WFO) in the area of responsibility when the threat poses an imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm. A warning is issued based on information reported by spotters or indicated by radar.
Before The Storm
  • Know the Name of Your County: Teach family members, especially children, that we live in Seward County, Kansas so they can recognize watch and warning areas that apply to our location.
  • Check Weather Forecasts Before Leaving for Extended Periods of Time: Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent.
  • Watch for Signs of Approaching Storms: Have a radio with you to receive updated weather information.
  • Check On Those Who Have Trouble Taking Shelter: If severe weather threatens make sure those who would have trouble finding shelter are taken care of.
  • Register Your Private Storm Shelter With Seward County Emergency Management: Debris after a storm can prevent those inside a shelter from getting out. Assist Emergency Responders by registering your private shelter so they know where to look to locate storm survivors.