NOAA: Severe Storms Dangerous As Some Tornadoes

lightning sxcSheldon, Iowa — This is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa. Each day this week, the National Weather Service is focusing on a different severe weather topic.

Today’s topic is severe thunderstorms.

Thunderstorms are a common occurrence each spring and summer across the Midwest and Iowa is not immune. Each year sees hundreds of severe and non-severe thunderstorms. Thunderstorms can be extremely dangerous storms which may bring deadly tornadoes and lightning, damaging high winds and hail and can lead to flash flooding.

But many people do not pay as much attention to a severe thunderstorm warning as a tornado warning, saying, “it’s just a severe thunderstorm warning”. Meteorologists say that severe thunderstorms can be just as dangerous as tornadoes, perhaps more than some, it’s just that the winds are straight, not in a vortex. When you add in deadly lightning and hail, severe thunderstorms are quite dangerous, and some communities have now decided to activate their outdoor warning sirens not just for tornadoes, but also certain severe thunderstorms. Sheldon is one of those communities. Sheldon Emergency Management Director Walt Pruiksma says Sheldon’s outdoor warning system will be activated for tornado warnings, for severe thunderstorm warnings with straight-line winds forecast to be in excess of 65 mph and for any other emergency scenario affecting Sheldon.

The National Weather Service issues severe thunderstorm warnings for thunderstorms that are producing, or are capable of producing one of two weather events, says meteorologist and Lead Forecaster Chris Jansen with the Sioux Falls office.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means conditions are right for severe thunderstorms, and you should stay aware that a warning may be issued.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning means National Weather Service meteorologists have determined that a severe thunderstorm is occurring or likely to occur. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm.

Contrary to popular belief, a watch does not need to be in effect for a warning to be issued. If that happens, it just means conditions changed so quickly a watch wasn’t yet in effect.

Jansen says the weather service is also highlighting the fact that not all warnings are the same, and people need to listen.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

Also, although lightning can be deadly it is not a criterion for what the National Weather Service defines as severe since even ordinary thunderstorms can produce a lot of lightning.

To register for the Nixle service click here.

For more information, click here for the National Weather Service’s Severe Thunderstorm Pamphlet

For severe weather safety and preparedness information in Spanish, please click here (en Español).

Para obtener información sobre la preparación de mal tiempo, haga clic aquí. (en español)

Brands Pens Book

Bonnie BrandsIowa City, Iowa — Former Sheldon resident, and the mother of Olympic medalists Tom and Terry Brands has written a book chronicling her adventures in raising her twin Olympians.

The book, entitled, “I’m The Mom” tells the story of the Brands Boys from their birth in Omaha, through their years in Sheldon, and into adulthood.  KIWA talked with Bonnie Brands and she told us how this book came about.

She says she thinks the growing up years in Sheldon were good for her twins.

Bonnie says Tom and Terry’s fierce competitive spirit was evident from a very early age.

She does concede that sometimes, growing up, the boys could be a handful.

She says that raising the twin Olympians, while sometimes challenging, was a pleasure for her.

Tom Brands won a Gold Medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, and twin brother Terry won Bronze at the 2000 Summer Olympics.  Tom is currently Head Wrestling Coach at the University of Iowa, and is a 3-time Big 10 Coach of the Year.  Terry Brands is Associate Head Coach of the Hawkeye Wrestling program.

Bonnie’s book, “I’m The Mom” is available online, and can be ordered by clicking here.

Pursuit Ends In Arrest Of George Man

Sibley, Iowa — A George man has been arrested on several charges after a pursuit in Osceola and Lyon Counties.
Police lightbar chase
According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, the incident started on Tuesday afternoon, March 24th. About 4:15 PM, witnesses reported seeing a white car pulling a trailer recklessly on 160th Street west of Sibley. When an Osceola County deputy went to investigate, the white Chevy Monte Carlo, who they would later learn was driven by 27-year-old Joseph Lee Daggett of George, failed to pull over.

The pursuit entered Lyon County north of Little Rock, and Lyon County Deputies joined. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that the pursuit went through Little Rock and westbound on Highway 9.

Shortly before 4:50 PM, they report that a vehicle that was eastbound on Highway 9 was forced to take the south ditch after the suspect’s vehicle swerved at their vehicle. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the driver of this vehicle to call them at 712-472-8300.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says the pursuit then went south on County Road L-14 and entered the City of George. They say the suspect fled the vehicle on foot within the city limits of George.

Osceola County authorities charged Daggett with one count of theft in the 4th Degree, a serious misdemeanor, one count of Possession of Prescription Drugs, a serious misdemeanor, Eluding, an aggravated misdemeanor, two stop sign violations and reckless driving which are simple misdemeanors. At last report, he was being held in the Osceola County Jail on a $5000 bond, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

Lyon County officials report that charges are pending in their county while the investigation continues.

Deputies were assisted by the Iowa State Patrol.

Sheldon’s Golden Egg Hunt Starts Friday

Sheldon, Iowa — It’s time once again for Sheldon’s Golden Egg Hunt. The egg hunt, which is usually a week or so before Easter is your chance to win Sheldon Dollars.
Gold Egg
Sheldon Chamber Director Allison Cooke gives us the details.

For further details, feel free to contact the Sheldon Chamber.

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Koontz Says Make A Tornado Plan

Primghar, Iowa — O’Brien County’s Emergency Management Director says preparedness is the name of the game when it comes to severe weather.
Thunderbolt 1003_SVA
Since this week has been severe weather awareness week, we had a chance to sit down and talk with Anne Koontz. She tells us why emergency and weather officials make such a big deal about the weather.

Koontz says several years ago they stopped sounding an “all clear” siren after tornadoes.

The WENS or Wireless Emergency Notification System is a new system that O’Brien and Osceola counties are setting up through the new state “Alert Iowa” system. According to state officials, Lyon County is also going to use the system.
You can find out more about Alert Iowa by clicking here.

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Farm Program Selection Deadline Is Next Tuesday

Orange City, Iowa — Iowa farmers have under a week remaining to decide which federal farm program is best for them. Jeff Davis, the Farm Service Agency director for Plymouth and Sioux counties, says March 31st is the last day farmers can elect between the three farm bill programs. Davis explains the provisions of the ARC-co which is based on county figures.
[klem24a] :20 “commodity or not”
(As above) “So, you use your county yields and prices to create a revenue,” Davis says. “If our county doesn’t reach that, you get paid on whatever base you have in that commodity and you can receive the payment no matter whether you plant the commodity or not.”

Davis says farmers may want to inquire about the ARC-ic program which allows farmers to place all farms under one program.

[klem24b] :18 “with that one”
(As above) “That deals with the revenues for the entire farm, which can mean two or three different farm numbers,” Davis says. “It’s everything that’s in that program. That’s a little more difficult to explain. You’d have to just sit and go through the numbers with that one.”

Farmers have another option, too.

[klem24c] :22 “see on that”
(As above) “We have the PLC program which is all based on price,” Davis says. “If price goes for corn below $3.70, then there would be a payment, but that would be an average price for the marketing year. At this point, they are projecting a little bit, possibly, of a payment but we’ll have to wait and see on that.”

Davis says whatever farm program a farmer decides upon, they will remain with that program through 2018. He says farmers can also sign up one farm with one program and another farm with a second program, or they can split the programs with different crops. Davis encourages farmers to visit their county FSA office prior to next Tuesday’s deadline in order to have all of the options explained.

Story from Radio Iowa