Spring Weather Safety Week underway

(Courtesy: National Weather Service Brownsville/Rio Grande Valley)

With spring weather upon us, residents are encouraged to prepare for anything the weather can bring during Spring Weather Awareness Week that ends Friday.

The first day of spring is March 20.

On Wednesday, a mock tornado drill will take place on NOAA Weather Radio so residents can exercise their plans in the event a real tornado threatens. Residents, businesses, schools, and others should use this opportunity to test all hazardous weather plans to assess any needs, weather forecaster said.

“We encourage everyone across the Rio Grande Valley to become weather ready and ‘be a force of nature’ for their communities,” said Barry Goldsmith, warning coordination meteorologist.

Weather in the Valley can be unpredictable during springtime and past weather events show that with a hailstorm March 29, 2012, in McAllen that left more than $600 million in property damage.

In February and March 2022, over 30,000 acres burned in several large wildfires across the ranchlands and other rural areas of Brooks, Jim Hogg, Kenedy, and Hidalgo County, and May 2021 featured a combination of damaging thunderstorm winds and flooding rains on several occasions, Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith said in addition to these hazards, dry spring seasons can increase heat, drought, and water supply issues; rip and longshore currents can be deadly to poor swimmers at the beach, and even poor air quality can develop from smoke that spreads from the Yucatan peninsula north to the Rio Grande Valley.

Because weather in the Valley is uncertain, Goldsmith said monitoring weather forecast and preparing in advance can help ensure preparedness that can keep people and property safe from harm.