News and Announcements

OHIO to participate in statewide tornado drill on March 20

Ohio University will participate in the statewide tornado drill scheduled for Wednesday, March 20, 2024.

The University’s outdoor communication system will broadcast the drill at 9:50 a.m. as part of the state’s Severe Weather Awareness Week.

In addition to participating in statewide drills, OHIO’s Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis also helps keep the region safe when severe weather strikes by working with the Ohio University emergency management staff to help better prepare everyone and provide up to date weather forecasts.

The lab, which partners with the National Weather Service Office in Charleston, WV., serves the Southeast Ohio region and provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to gain real-time forecasting experience.

Meteorology students and faculty work with the National Weather Service on both storm spotter training and storm surveys in the region. The Scalia Lab also shares important weather forecasts to the public through their social media pages like Facebook and Twitter and on their website. 

Undergraduate and graduate students are involved in numerous research projects using the software and hardware in the lab, including using a combination of radar observations with GIS information to study the movement and tracks of tornadoes.

Athens County and the home counties of OHIO’s regional campuses have seen tornado and straight-line wind damage in the past. Tornado season is generally April through July, though they have been known to strike throughout the year.

It’s important to have a tornado plan at home, as well, and families should hold tornado drills. It’s also helpful to understand the difference between a tornado watch, when weather conditions indicate a tornado is possible, and a warning, which is when a tornado has actually been sighted or indicated by weather radar.

March 12, 2024
Staff reports