Spring Weather Information 2000, Illinois State Water Survey

Weather Information

Spring Weather Information 2000
Central Illinois is experiencing another tornado season, but there is more afoot in the Midwest during spring than just tornadoes. Our weather will also come in the form of severe thunderstorms, which will possibly bring high winds and/or hail to the area. These storms can approach without warning, and learning to recognize the danger signs will help you be ready when they threaten. As mentioned before, tornadoes are also a local weather phenomenon that can become severe, and they deserve no less forethought and planning. The following links are offered to help you better understand and prepare for these types of weather events.

Sources of Information
Current Weather Conditions:
     Illinois Weather - University of Illinois, Department of Atmospheric Sciences.  Click here first because this site contains useful information such as current Champaign conditions (including heat index), current weather maps, new radar images with national regional and local perspectives, and more. In conjunction with WILL-AM580, the campus-owned radio station, the page also contains current Champaign-Urbana forecasts made by the station.
     The Interactive Weather Information Network - National Weather Service.  This site contains notices of active weather warnings for each state. Click on a state to see more detail. Your screen will update every 60 seconds with new information, and the site contains hourly weather reports, forecasts and more.
     USA Weather - Intellicast.  This site gives weather forecasts by state and by city. The format is both graphical and text-based, so users with slower connections might want to drop in here. You can focus on the Midwest, Illinois, or Champaign, if you wish.
     Midwest Climate Watch - Midwest Regional Climate Center.  Recent climate information can be found on this site including Drought Index Maps, Crop Moisture Maps and more. This site is maintained by the Midwest Regional Climate Center.
     The Weather Channel - The Weather Channel.  This site contains weather information for the entire United States. Current information for Champaign-Urbana is also available.

Severe Weather Information  
Severe Thunderstorms
     Frequently Asked Questions - Storm Prediction Center.  This FAQ can answer many questions you have about severe thunderstorms. Questions answered include: "What is a Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Watch?", "Why are watches not issued for all severe storms?" and "What's the difference between a watch and a warning?"
     Severe Thunderstorms - The Weather Channel.  This site provides various information on severe thunderstorms, including thunderstorm safety (lightning), thunderstorm climatology, and how thunderstorms form.
     Fact Sheet: Thunderstorms and Lightning - Federal Emergency Management Agency.  This site lists information that will help you before, during, and after a thunderstorm. Would you think to have a nonelectric can opener on hand?
     NOAA Climate Prediction Center - Climate Prediction Center.  The mission of the Climate Prediction Center is to maintain a continuous watch on short-term climate fluctuations and to diagnose and predict them.
     Illinois Tornadoes - Illinois State Climatologist's Office.  The State Climatologist answers questions: "What is a Tornado?" and "How do tornadoes form?" There are also tornado facts, and a listing of the last 20 years of Illinois tornadoes.
     Storm Prediction Center Home - Storm Prediction Center.  This site contains a wonderful Frequently Asked Questions page specifically on tornadoes is contained on this site, as are many other links such as the basics of tornadoes.
     Tornado Safety Tips - Federal Emergency Management Agency.  If a tornado should approach your area, you have little time to make very important decisions. This site provides information to guide you in these decisions before, during, and after a tornado.
     Before A Tornado Strikes - Prepare! - The Weather Channel.  "One of the most alarming aspects of tornadoes is their randomness. Your best defense is to be alert and prepared. The time to begin is now...."
     Determine your Tornado "Risk" - The Weather Channel.  While the best defense against tornados is always to be prepared, certain areas are considered to be at a higher risk than others. This map shows the "Areas which are most at risk". There are also tornado myths listed and an article on what to do when a warning is issued.
     The Tornado Project - The Tornado Project.  This site contains general and harder-to-find tornado information.
Flash Floods
     Spring Flood Watch - Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Topics here also include flood safety, flood insurance, disaster news, and how to protect your property from floods. There is also information pertaining to animals and emergencies.
     Weather & Climate Resources - Illinois State Water Survey Library.  The Illinois State Water Survey Library's Weather & Climate Resources page contains links to information on flash flooding in Central Illinois.

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