Always tracking, always alerting. That's our mission for the Stormtrack Weather Team, and it's why we have a plan
in place to give Mid-Missouri as much lead time as possible before severe weather threatens.
Heat, flooding and tornadoes are among the most deadly types of weather each year. Statewide, there were 50 reported tornadoes in 2021, and more than 400 damaging wind reports last year. During our typical spring severe weather season that runs from March through May, we had about 80 reports of damaging winds, 50 reports of severe hail and seven tornadoes.
The Stormtrack Weather Team issues Weather Alert Days based on a set of criteria that focuses on the most dangerous and impactful weather all year round. In the spring, that means we're monitoring for the potential of tornadoes, 60 mph winds, large hail, flash flooding and heat indices above 105 degrees.
Along with the real-time and model data our meteorologists use to prepare our severe weather forecasts, we also lean on the Storm Prediction Center's severe weather outlooks.
The risk levels start at marginal, meaning isolated severe storms are possible but limited in coverage or intensity, all the way up to a rare high risk for the threat of widespread, life-threatening storms. You will often see these risk maps in our weather forecasts on TV and online. They're a good tool for showing the overall likelihood of severe weather over a specific area.
When a Weather Alert Day is in effect, you'll find a complete breakdown of what to expect in the Insider Blog on abc17news.com and on the Stormtrack Weather App. On air, you'll see red "Weather Alert Day" icons above each day on the seven-day forecast that the Weather Alert Day is in effect.
The Stormtrack Weather App is a great resource as storms move in to keep an eye on the radar, get instant warnings and alerts and watch our livestream coverage. This is especially important if you lose power.