year, the tornado season started very early for many people in this
country. Almost daily we read and hear
about fellow Americans suffering from and sometimes dying when their
communities are struck by tornadoes.
has its share of tornadoes. Weld County reports more tornado sightings than any
other county in the country. This isn't due to unusual weather patterns in
northeast Colorado or bad luck. Weld County is huge, larger than some
states, and our normal afternoon thunderstorms often produce tornadoes that are
reported more often than in the past due to our increasing rural population.
Tornadoes have occurred at all times of the year in Colorado and almost all
Colorado counties have experienced tornadoes. This includes the mountains.
average, there are sixty tornadoes deaths each year in the United States. We in
Colorado tend to experience weak tornadoes (F0 - F2 on the Fujita Tornado
Damage Scale of F0 – F6). Even weak tornadoes can produce winds speeds of up to
157 miles per hour. Winds of this velocity can cause significant damage to
homes, overturn vehicles and uproot trees. The greatest danger is from flying
objects and glass from broken windows.
always, there are ways to keep yourself and your family safe from tornadic
winds. Heed tornado and other weather related watches and warnings from the
National Weather Service.
a tornado "watch" is issued for your area, it means that a
tornado is "possible."
a tornado "warning" is issued, it means that a tornado has
actually been spotted or is strongly indicated on radar, and it is time to go
to a safe shelter immediately.
to take in the case of a Tornado Warning include:
If you are inside, go to the basement
if one is available or to the interior of the building to protect yourself
from glass and other flying objects.
If you are outside, go into a nearby
sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
If you are in a car or mobile home, get
out immediately and head for safety (as above).
alerts come to the citizens of Arvada in many forms. The local media will report tornado activity
and you can sign up with several news stations to receive weather alerts on
your cell phone. You can also gather
important information about severe weather in the City of Arvada through the
city web site, www.Arvada.org,
by friending us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. Emergency alerts
may also be broadcast over KYGO (98.5 FM) and KOA (850 AM) radio. These are the
designated EAS (Emergency Alert System) radio stations for the Denver metro
The City of Arvada
does not have an outdoor warning system (sirens). A better option for you and your family is to
own a weather radio. When set, weather radios
will turn themselves on, sound an alarm and then provide detailed weather
information for your area. Weather
radios are inexpensive and can be purchased from many different retailers.
As mentioned above,
no matter how you receive weather information…heed the warnings and seek
shelter if conditions become dangerous.
Tornado season in
Colorado may arrive with the spring and summer thunderstorms, but tornado
safety awareness transcends designated "seasons". For more information on tornado safety or other
preparedness issues visit the National Weather Service web site at
www.noaa.gov, the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org or contact your local
emergency manager. In Arvada that number is: 720-898-6875 or firstname.lastname@example.org.