DETROIT – Severe Weather Awareness Week continues here in Michigan and, since today is a pretty quiet weather day, let's review your plan of action if a tornado threatens, and then I'll get to the forecast.
As you probably know, a basement is the best place to seek shelter from a tornado. Take cover down there in a small bathroom or closet if there is one, or under a table.
Many people without basements are afraid when tornados approach, but it's important to remember that you DO have a very safe place to be: a small room (bathroom is best, or a pantry or closet) that is in the middle of the home or building. The key thing to remember is to put as many walls between you and the tornado as possible, and this protects you from flying debris. But what many people forget is to get to your place of safety as quickly as possible.
I still remember one local man telling me how he was standing at his door wall watching a tornado, when he suddenly realized that it was coming toward him. He barely got to the basement in time before the twister splintered all of the wood decking around his backyard pool, and dozens of daggers of wood crashed through the door wall and impaled themselves in the wall behind where he was standing. Tornadoes can fool you with their speed and movement, don't waste any time getting to your safe place.
If you live in a mobile home, then you have some tough decisions to make, because mobile homes offer almost no protection from a tornado. If you don't have a nearby sturdy shelter to go to (some mobile home parks actually have a building with a basement), my recommendation is to have a plan in which you can go to a friend's or relative's house anytime of the day or night. In fact, hopefully you are close enough with them to have a key to their place in case they are not home and you need a place of safety. If you choose to stay in your mobile home, there's nothing I can tell you except to pray that the tornado misses you.
If you are in a car and you hear about a tornado warning on the radio or hear the sirens, then get to the nearest sturdy shelter as quickly as possible, unless you are able to determine that the storm is nowhere near you, and you have time to get home. If you are in a car and you see a tornado, then you have a tough decision to make. If it's not near you and it's obvious that the tornado is going to miss you, then you can stay in your car to get some protection from large hail if there's no building to run into and, if possible, drive away from the tornado. But if a tornado is quickly coming right at you, and you're out in the country with no building nearby, then get out of the car and lay in the roadside ditch and cover your head. Tornadoes can easily pick up or roll vehicles…and you don't want to be inside for that. Since most people hurt and killed by tornadoes are hit by flying debris, getting below ground level in the bottom of that ditch could save your life.
I hope you take these safety instructions seriously, and PLEASE share this article with friends and family. A lot of people want this information.
Alright, onto the forecast:
Showers this evening will end, and we should see some clearing later tonight. Lows in the upper 40s (that's 9° Celsius for you Canadian viewers). Light and variable wind.
Mostly sunny and absolutely gorgeous on Friday, with highs near 70° (21° Celsius) -- even into the low 70s for some! Southwest wind at 4 to 8 mph.
Friday's sunrise is at 6:50 AM, and Friday's sunset is at 8:17 PM.
Mostly clear Friday night, with lows in the upper 40s.
Mostly sunny again on Saturday, with highs in the upper 60s to near 70°.
Increasing clouds later on Saturday night, with lows in the low to mid 40s.
Even if we manage to start the day on Sunday with a bit of sun (best chance for this is across our far northern counties), we'll cloud over pretty quickly and see rain develop, with a rumble of thunder even possible. If you have tickets for Sunday's Tigers game against the White Sox, I suggest two things: 1) download the FREE Local4Casters weather app from the app store…just search under "WDIV" -- the App has a great radar display to monitor the rain. 2) follow me on Twitter at @PGLocal4 -- I frequently tweet updates with radar images. Highs Sunday in the upper 50s to near 60°, and it'll become a windy day.
Rain likely Sunday night, with lows in the upper 40s.
Rain likely Monday, but probably ending sometime during the afternoon. The Tigers start a big series with the Yankees Monday night, so this'll be a bit of a close call. Even if we have light wind in the morning, wind should pick up again in the afternoon. Highs in the low 60s.
Partly cloudy and colder Monday night, with lows in the upper 30s.
Becoming mostly cloudy and windy on Tuesday, with some scattered light afternoon showers possible. Highs in the mid 50s.
Partly cloudy Tuesday night, with lows in the mid to upper 30s.
Becoming mostly cloudy and windy on Wednesday, with some scattered light afternoon showers possible. Highs in the mid 50s.
Partly cloudy Wednesday night, with lows in the upper 30s.
Partly cloudy on Thursday, with highs in the mid 50s.