Severe storm warning for 63 million Americans this week

The NOAA Storm Prediction Center issued a warning Monday about severe storms and possible tornadoes to develop from the Great Plains outward. Here is how to prepare for a tornado. 

NOAA severe thunderstorm three-day outlook.

The national Storm Prediction Center is warning 63 million people of possibly impending storms and tornadoes in the Midwest this week.

“An increasing risk for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes is still expected for Wednesday, November 11 (Veterans Day),” the organization writes in a Facebook post Monday. “Our current expectations are for severe thunderstorms to develop in the Great Plains Wednesday morning.” The National Weather Services warns of possible hail and heavy winds. 

According to the AP, the weather threat spans from San Antonio to Chicago, and then to Cincinnati. The regions forecast to face the highest risk of severe weather are Missouri, northern Arkansas, and southern Illinois.

“The severe threat should increase by afternoon as thunderstorms capable of wind damage and tornadoes move quickly eastward across the Mississippi Valley,” the Center goes on. “The severe threat should reach the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys by Wednesday evening.”

Harsh winds and disastrous weather are caused by colliding air masses. Tornadoes in particular are often born when a cold storm encounters a warm air front and creates a supercell. The cold air falls to the bottom while warm air rises, twisting and eventually forming into a funnel that rotates.

Such thunderstorms are often most damaging in the spring, but autumn storms that can spawn tornadoes are not atypical.

If you know you are within a high-threat region, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will issue an alert. If a tornado appears on radar in your area, a warning will be issued by the local National Weather Service office - which is typically transmitted by radio, TV, and other media outlets. 

Before the storm hits, make sure you have a designated shelter – in a basement, or a windowless hallway if you are indoors. 

As The Christian Science Monitor has previously reported, it’s important to also have other resources:

Each person should have a "go kit" ready to grab on the way to shelter. The go kit should include a first-aid kit, flashlight and batteries, identification, matches, copies of important financial documents, an extra set of clothes, and other items. Have a relative outside your community serve as an emergency contact so if family members are caught by the storm in different locations, they can call their status in to that relative.

If you are outside during a tornado, find the lowest spot on the ground and lie down flat with your arms over your head. The friction of the ground will slow the twisting winds, even if by only a margin, and the low position will be a smaller target for debris. The greatest risk isn't from being picked up by a tornado but by flying debris.

There are several popular misconceptions regarding tornado safety. One, the notion that opening windows to equalize air pressure in a house is simply misguided; the debris in the heavy winds will break the windows regardless, and it is these flying objects that do the most damage, not air pressure.

There is another myth that some regions are immune from tornadoes. Tornadoes have happened almost everywhere, including Alaska and Hawaii.

And after a wind funnel passes, experts advise that you remain cautious. Do not enter damaged buildings and be wary of broken power lines and gas mains. Listen for further warnings, as tornadoes sometimes come in multiples.

So far this year, there have been 10 deaths due to tornadoes.

You can follow live forecast updates at the NOAA Storm Prediction Center website here.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Severe storm warning for 63 million Americans this week
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today