One of the best ways to protect you and your family and to stay informed of the latest weather conditions is to purchase a weather radio. These radios can be purchased at most stores that sell electronics. They will alert you to severe weather even when you are sleeping.
These radios can be programmed so that you are only alerted to those warnings for Parke County by programming the FIPS code for Parke County. The code for Parke County is 018121. Two national weather service transmitters cover the Parke County area. For most areas, the best signal will be from KZZ-27 in Newport on a frequency of 162.425 MHz. If you do not get a good signal using that channel, try WXK-72 out of Putnamville on a frequency of 162.400 Mhz.
Not all products issued by the National Weather Service are Tone Alerted or SAME (FIPS) encoded. This is based on both national directives and local decisions derived from local area surveys from the listeners. The main concern is alerting listeners to upcoming events which will affect the respective radio listening areas.
The following products are SAME encoded and Tone Alerted:
Severe Thunderstorm Watch
Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Flash Flood Warning
Winter Storm Warning (All types of WSW except Wind Chill Warning) This product not tone alarmed between 12:01am and 7:00 am
Blizzard Warning This product not tone alarmed between 12:01am and 7:00 am
High Wind Warning This product not tone alarmed between 12:01am and 7:00 am
Wednesday tests of the alarm (or first good weather day after Wednesday)
The following products are SAME encoded but NOT Tone Alerted:
Flash Flood Watch
Winter Storm Watch
Wind Chill Warning (This is the only type of WSW that is not Tone Alerted)
High Wind Watch
Watch: Issued when conditions are favorable for a particular severe weather hazard within the next several hours.
Warning: Issued when a particular severe weather hazard is imminent or occurring. Take immediate action to protect life and property.
Severe Thunderstorm/Tornado Safety Basics
1. Get In:
- Put as many walls between you and the outside as possible.
- Stay Away from doors and windows.
2. Get Down:
- Get to the lowest floor possible. Basements are best during tornadic or very high wind situations.
3. Cover Up
4. Remain Calm
More details can be found within this brochure: pdf version
Types of Severe Weather
Tornado: A violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm cloud to the ground. The Enhanced Fujita Tornado Intensity Scale is used to categorize tornadoes.
Severe Thunderstorm: A thunderstorm that produces a tornado, damaging winds of 58 mph or higher, and/or quarter (1 inch) size hail or larger.
- Hail Sizes: (view a chart with hail sizes [pdf])
- Pea Size: 0.25 inches
- Small Marble: 0.50 inches
- Penny: 0.75 inches
- Nickel: 0.88 inches
- Quarter: 1.00 inches
- Half Dollar: 1.25 inches
- Ping Pong Ball: 1.50
- Golf Ball: 1.75 inches
- Hen Egg: 2.00 inches
- Tennis Ball: 2.50 inches
- Baseball: 2.75 inches
- Grapefruit: 4.00 inches
- Softball: 4.50 inches
Flash Flood: a flood which will create an immediate threat to life or property. Safety rules for flash flooding can be found with this brochure (15MB pdf)
High Wind: A High Wind Warning is issued for sustained winds of 40 mph or wind gusts of 58 mph
TORNADO - A violently rotating column of air, usually forming a pendant from a cumulonimbus cloud, whose circulation reaches the ground. It nearly always starts as a funnel cloud and may be accompanied by a loud roaring noise. On a local scale, it is the most destructive of all atmospheric phenomena.
FUNNEL CLOUD - A rotating column of air, forming a pendant from a cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud, whose circulation does not reach the ground.
TORNADO WATCH - Conditions are favorable for tornado development. Remain alert for approaching storms.
TORNADO WARNING - Radar has indicated a tornado or a tornado has been spotted. Take cover now.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM - A thunderstorm accompanied by winds (sustained or gusts) of 58 mph (50 knots) or more and hail 1 inch in diameter or larger. Structural wind damage may be used to infer the occurrence of a severe thunderstorm.
SQUALL LINE - A line of thunderstorms or squalls which may extend over several hundred miles.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH- Conditions are favorable for tornado development. Remain alert for approaching storms.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING - Radar has indicated a severe thunderstorm or severe weather has been reported. Take cover now.
WATERSPOUT - A rotating column of air, usually forming a pendant from a cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud, which forms over a body of water, and whose circulation reaches the water.
DOWNBURST - A strong downdraft from a cumulonimbus cloud which induces damaging winds on or near the ground.
MACROBURST - A large downburst with the diameter of outflow 2 1/2 miles or larger and damaging winds lasting 5 to 20 minutes. Intense macrobursts can cause tornado-force damage.
MICROBURST - A small downburst with the diameter of outflow less than 2 1/2 miles and peak winds lasting only 2 to 5 minutes. They may induce dangerous wind and downflow wind shears which can affect aircraft performance.
FLASH FLOOD - A flood which follows a heavy or excessive rainfall, a dam or levee failure, or sudden release of water impounded by an ice jam, within a few hours. There is nothing in the National Weather Service definition that says a flash flood must be a "wall of water."
WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW -
Northern and Central Indiana:
6 inches or more in 12 hours or less
8 inches or more in 24 hours or less
4 inches or more in 12 hours or less
6 inches or more in 24 hours or less
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW -
Northern and Central Indiana: 3 to 5 inches in 12 hours
Southern Indiana: Less than 4 inches in 12 hours
BLIZZARD WARNING - Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 mph or more for at least 3 hours and considerable falling and/or blowing snow reducing visibility frequently to less than 1/4 mile.
ICE STORM WARNING - Ice accumulation of 1/4 inch or more on all surfaces. Brings down wires.
HIGH WINDS - Sustained winds of 40 mph or greater or winds gusting to 58 mph or greater.
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR BLOWING SNOW - Visibilities intermittently at or below 1/4 mile due to blowing snow with winds less than 35 mph.
WIND CHILL ADVISORY - Values -15 to -24 with minimum wind speeds of 10 mph
WIND CHILL WARNING - Values -25 or below with minimum wind speeds of 10 mph