The days are getting longer, the sun is shining and the temperatures are getting warmer.  It is Springtime in North Texas.  While we all love to see longer day and  warm, sunny days it can create some real issues with the weather in North Texas.  

In addition to warm temperatures, we also can get a lot of humidity from the Gulf of Mexico, cold fronts coming from the north or northwest and a dry line (the line where dry cold air and warm moist air meet) which will cause the atmosphere to become unstable and severe weather will develop.  

There are certain things you can do to be safe during a severe weather outbreak.  Make sure you are following the forecast and are aware of where the storms are and what type of weather is expected.  You can get a weather radio at various locations such as Walmart or Amazon that will give you alerts as severe weather is detected in your specific area.  You can also sign up for weather alerts from the local network weather forecasters (WFAA, NBC/DFW, CBS/DFW) through their weather apps.  The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a wealth of information on their site and is a great resource.

There are three stages that you should be aware of when discussing severe weather.  The first is Forecast which is classified as storms are possible. Not everyone will see severe weather at their location when this is advertised.  The second is Watch which indicates that conditions are favorable for severe weather.  Storms will develop soon or already developing.  The third is Warning which which means severe weather is occurring or immanent in location.  When you have a Warning, do not delay take action immediately.  Take cover in the lowest level of your home in an interior closet or room with no windows and put as many walls between you and the exterior wall of your home until the threat passes.

If you find yourself outside or in a vehicle during a tornado Warning, take shelter as quickly as possible in the nearest sturdy building.  If there are no buildings find the lowest ground (a ditch or dip in the landscape), cover your head to avoid flying debris and hail that could cause serious bodily damage. 

Make sure you have supplies available in your storm shelter in case the power goes out or you have serious damage.  Your storm survival kit should include at a minimum water, battery powered radio, emergency food, any medication you need, a leash for pets, pet food and a fully charged cell phone and charger to contact emergency services and your family.

Severe weather can be dangerous and scary but it is part of life so be as prepared as you can, have a plan in place, make sure your family knows how to contact each other in the event of a disaster, pay attention to the conditions around you and take all precautions to protect your family and yourself.  Hail, straight line winds and flash floods can be just as dangerous as a tornado so understand the risks and have a plan in place.