It’s fair to say that 2021 brought unique weather to all portions of Nebraska. From tornado outbreaks and dust storms to tornado warnings and snow squall warnings being issued on the same day, Nebraska weather has been impactful. The National Weather Service remains committed to working with leaders from across the state to build “Weather-Ready” communities.
March 21-25 is Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Week. The NWS encourages everyone to take time to review and practice your severe weather plan for your home or office. If you don’t have a plan, this is a great time to consider developing one and sharing it with others. Preparing an emergency kit with basic supplies such as food, water, blankets, and a flashlight can save precious time when reacting to an actual event. By working together to ensure we are ready for disaster, we can better prepare our families, friends, and communities for these times.
Your Storm Reports in Action
Although it is not common for severe weather to occur in the winter, Nebraska has had at least one reported tornado during each month of the year since official records have been kept. The reports received from NWS partners and the public contribute to keeping neighbors and fellow Nebraskans safe when disaster strikes.
The ground truth provided gives forecasters an idea of what a storm is doing. These reports are used in research aimed at better understanding how storms work. Storm reports play a vital role in keeping others safe, both now and in the years to come.
Tornado Number Trends
Tornadoes reported across Nebraska in 2021 were down slightly from the 30-year average of 51. Of the 44 tornadoes occurring in the state last year, over half these tornadoes occurred on either May 26th or December 15th. Storm reports are eyewitness reports providing critical information to meteorologists making warning decisions.
This real time information allows forecasters to have ground truth of what is actually happening below where the radar cannot see. The NWS is grateful to storm spotters, partners, and local community members for their continued support and assistance in providing this information.