Spring is officially here and that means severe weather season is right around the corner.
A professor and climatologist at Kansas State University studies weather events each year and looks at how often they occur depending on different climate situations. John Harrington Jr. said with his research, we might see more severe and stronger thunderstorms in the future.
“One of the big concerns I have is that the warmer atmospheric temperatures will drive a little bit more evaporation out of the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico,” Harrington said in an article on the university’s website. “One of the things that helps storms be stronger is having more moisture, so that added moisture may increase the height and severity or a tall cumulonimbus thunderstorm cloud.”
The threat of severe weather has increased business at Protection Shelters, LLC. President Dale Zogleman said he's seen more business owners buying storm shelters to protect their employees.
"A tremendous amount of businesses are looking at their work place and see they spend a lot of dollars in providing work place safety, but they have no safe place for employees to go in the event of a tornado," said Zogleman. "Once business owner told me he can replace his inventory, and he can replace his building, but he can't replace his people."
The company is also building a 40 foot by 40 foot storm shelter for a Wichita apartment complex, whose tenants voted for the project.
"There's more and more people becoming aware that they do need a safe place to be in the event of a tornado," he said.
The storm shelter going in at Seneca Village Apartments has walls eight inches think of 100% concrete and a ceiling with concrete and metal a foot thick weighing over 500,000 pounds.
"When it's all done this particular tornado shelter will provide shelter for the people of wind of excess of 250 MPH or an EF5 tornado," he said.
In the end Storm Team 12 meteorologists say it's more important to be prepared for a big storm, then to try to predict how severe each season is going to be.
"If they're forecasting, 'well it doesn't look like it's going to be that bad', people may let down their guard," said Meteorologist Merril Teller. "That's not a good thing. Even if they're correct with saying it's going to be a minimal year, even there's one tornado and it hits your house, it was a bad year."
He reminds folks that knowing where to go before severe weather hits is key to being safe. Also, work places and families should do drills because sometimes ever minute counts.