March 7, 2012
Cowley College holds Severe Weather Awareness Presentation
Discussing severe weather topics ranging from tornadoes, electrical storms, hail, earthquakes, and flash floods, Brian Stone, Cowley County’s coordinator for emergency management, provided a Severe Weather Awareness Presentation Tuesday on Cowley College’s main campus in Arkansas City.
Stone informed those in attendance on how to keep safe during storm season.
Among the information shared were the differences between a wall cloud and a shelf cloud. A wall cloud is a large, lowering, and rotating base of a cumulonimbus cloud that potentially forms tornadoes. Most strong tornadoes form from wall clouds. While, a shelf cloud is a low, horizontal wedge-shaped arcus cloud that is attached to the base of the thunderstorm. A shelf cloud appears on the leading edge of a storm, and a wall cloud will usually be at the rear of the storm.
A slide show and videos were shown during the one-hour long presentation. Assisting Stone was Cowley College’s director of security and public safety Matt Stone, who previously served as a volunteer for the Cowley County Emergency Auxiliary.
Brian Stone showed video footage of the tornadoes that ripped through Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia on April 27, 2011. The tornadoes claimed 320 lives and was the fourth deadliest tornado day on record.
He also showed a video from the one-mile wide, EF-5 tornado, that struck Joplin, MO on May 22, 2011. The tornado, which killed 158 people and injured more than 1,000 individuals, was the deadliest tornado since 1947.
Brian Stone informed those in attendance that there were 56 tornadic events in Cowley County from January 1950 to April 2009. Those tornadoes resulted in 78 deaths, 290 injuries and more than $39 million in damage. In 2011, three tornadoes were reported in Cowley County.
Stone said the best way to be safe during the storm season is to be prepared, informed, and know the risk signals.