How Many Weather Warnings and Advisories Can We Have in One Week?
Let's cross off the specific weather watches, warnings, and advisories we've had in just the past few days in East Texas.
Thanks to Hurricane Laura, the Piney Woods had a Hurricane Warning, Hurricane Watch, Tropical Storm Warning, Tropical Storm Watch, Flash Flood Watch, Flash Flood Warning, Tornado Watch, Tornado Warning, and now we have a Heat Advisory because we're going to get a taste of the equator for the next couple days.
What happens when winter arrives? With all the craziness of 2020, can a Deep East Texas blizzard warning be in our future? I guess the forecasters could go ahead and issue the blizzard warning just so we get credit for it. It doesn't mean the blizzard has to happen. I mean, we were under a hurricane warning and thankfully I didn't see too much damage on my property. When checking my back yard I found six downed twigs, a handful of toppled acorns, and a dead Texas banded gecko. The gecko had crawled onto our patio to seek shelter from the oncoming storm, but he didn't realize that one of our cats was also on the patio. So, the gecko's death was an indirect result of the hurricane, but it still counts.
Yes, we've had a lot of watches and warnings issued in just the past few days, but the bottom line is THEY WORK. People take notice and for the most part take the necessary precautions. When I hear 'Tornado Warning', I know it's time to gather the pillows and pile the family into the bathtub.
I think it's time to update some of these advisories, or, at the very least, make them a little more specific to Texas.
Let me start with a basic weather watch so as to set the standard:
Alert Type: Severe Thunderstorm Watch
- Description of Alert: Conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms.
- Directed Action: Be prepared to go to a place of safety or take evasive action if needed.
Now, here are some new, proposed alerts:
Alert Type: Flash Sweat Warning
- Description of Alert: It's so hot and humid outside, once you step outside you will immediately start to pour sweat like a sumo wrestler on lap 5 at the track. Yes, the NWS already has heat advisories and excessive heat warnings, but this is much more specific and relatable.
- Directed Action: If you're going to town, take extra everything...shirt, pants, socks, and underwear. From the time it takes for you to walk from the car to the front door of the store, it's over. Texas heat and humidity has a certain Velcro quality to it. Even if you're not sweaty from the 30 seconds it took to walk, the oppressive heat will stick to you and cause your sweat glands to go hyperactive even after you've entered the air conditioned room. Take extra deodorant, too.
Alert Type: All Seasons Advisory
- Description of Alert: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter weather will all be experienced within the next 24 hours. Usually happens in November or March. A Flash Sweat Warning may be need to be activated for the few hours of Summer during the day before Fall and Winter arrive.
- Directed Action: Take two changes of clothes with you, one for Summer - the other for Winter. A thick blanket might also be a good idea.
Alert Type: Flake Watch
- Description of Alert: Less than 100 flakes of snow or micro-pellets of sleet could fall in the area. You won't even be able to see them fall from the sky. Usually melts on impact.
- Directed Action: Cancel all area schools. Treat area roads and bridges with double doses of solution and salt. Complain that once again Tyler, Longview, and Shreveport got a winter wonderland and all we got was a muddy yard.