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July 17, 2018

Weather Can be Unpredictable

On June 9, 1972 I sat on my parents’ back porch at Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota and watched a strange sight. Thunderstorms over the distant Black Hills were exploding in size and growing very dark and foreboding…but they were behaving very oddly. Normally thunderstorms that formed over the Hills would drift eastward into the Badlands, but these storms just circled back into the Black Hills, like a giant revolving carousel. This odd weather pattern produced a historic overnight flood that killed 238 people, most of them residents of Rapid City who were asleep and unaware of the wall of water that blasted through the city near midnight.


Flash Flooding is No Joke

Flash floods and hurricane-induced storm surges are particularly deadly and should never be underestimated. Often occurring at night, floods produce water that rapidly rises and can overtake homes and cars in minutes, or even seconds. If you’re asleep and the waters are rising, you may never know it until your home is already surrounded by a rushing, inescapable torrent. In your car, driving onto a flooded roadway can put your life in immediate jeopardy; if the roadway is completely obscured by water, how do you know the pavement is still there? Bridges and culverts get swept away, and you can be, too.


Turn Around, Don't Drown

Credit: "Turn Around, Don't Drown", NOAA National Weather Service

NOAA Weather Radios Save Lives

As the official “Voice of the National Weather Service”, there is no faster way to receive life-saving flood warnings than via a NOAA Weather Radio. Our federal government built this radio network to get emergency information to you as quickly as it’s available. Even in the age of cell phones, there is no faster way to get weather alerts and civil defense alerts than via a NOAA Weather Radio. Get one yourself, and give them as gifts.

There are many victims of weather disasters who would be alive today if only they had heard the warning that was issued minutes or hours before they perished. That’s why for the past forty years I have spread this message: NOAA Weather Radio saves lives! Click HERE for information on the best-selling NOAA Weather Radio in the country.

- Bruce Jones, Chief Meteorologist

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