As if on cue, a major swathe of storms rolled through the Midwest this past weekend right before the start of Severe Weather Awareness week. These storms wreaked havoc all over the place, with the most concentrated and powerful storms hitting the Oklahoma and Kansas areas.
Here in Minnesota we got another one of our mixed bag of weather events - rain, wind, a confirmed tornado, hail and, to top it all off, snow, and lots of it in some areas up north.
The Independent ran the first of three weather-related columns in Monday's paper, with two more to come on Wednesday and Friday. We encourage you to give these articles a good read and try to learn something from them.
Even though you assume you would know what to do in case of severe weather - yes, you should head to the basement and stay away from windows - there's always something more to learn. And that something could end up saving your life.
At the risk of stating the obvious, we've entered a time of the year when nasty weather can sneak up on us, and we should all be prepared, because no one ever knows just how bad it could get, and no one ever knows exactly when or where the really bad stuff will hit.
We're thankful Sunday's confirmed tornado touchdown north of Ghent didn't result in any fatalities, injuries, or even property damage, but who knows what the next storm system that moves through the area will bring? Meteorologists do their best in predicting stormy weather and were even able to warn the public down south about Saturday's storms as early as Friday afternoon, calling the storm system a "high-end, life-threatening event," yet it still managed to catch a few unfortunate victims off guard - in Oklahoma, six people were killed and more than two dozen injured. It's pretty amazing when you think about it: Even with a full day of preparation, lives were lost.
That goes to show there is no such thing as too much preparation. So take some time this week to have a family discussion on staying safe during severe weather, and if you have kids, make sure they know the drill, too.