As severe weather season comes close to end, preparedness still needed

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 3:42 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - It is a little quieter now inside Lubbock’s National Weather Service headquarters.

This follows an active year of severe weather.

“Usually, the severe weather season winds down by the time we get to early-to-mid-June,” Jodey James with Lubbock’s National Weather Service, said. “We’re probably on the tail end of it for this year.”

James is the warning coordination meteorologist. He helps sends information to emergency management authorities in the surrounding 24 counties and local tv stations.

“We’ve always likened ourselves to fireman,” James said. “We have a lot of boring weather, then we could, 10% or 20% can be panic.”

There is a team of about 15 meteorologists in the office with two-or-three working at a time.

During severe weather events they are sending out warnings, watching radar, answering phones and predicting where storms may go next.

“It’s not just pushing a button for warnings. It’s still a lot of science going on,” James said.

The NWS staff is even using social media more, updating its Twitter account with every watch and warning. Those updates are even coming in English and Spanish, to expand reach.

“There’s just so many more ways to communicate with the public and with our partners,” James said. “There’s really no excuse for your average citizen out there to not be informed with what’s going on.”

Now, he and his colleagues are sending out a message for the next time sever weather hits: have a plan in place.

“When a tornado is threatening, like we almost had here in Lubbock, that’s not the time to be wondering, do I have a place to go?” James said.

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