As severe weather like tornadoes, flooding and storms become more common, how to be prepared

ByCheryl Scott, Larry Mowry, Greg Dutra, Tracy Butler, and Jaisol Martinez WLS logo
Sunday, April 16, 2023
'Storm Safety: Keeping You Prepared'
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ABC7 meteorologists Cheryl Scott, Larry Mowry, Tracy Butler, Greg Dutra and Jaisol Martinez take a close-up look at how severe weather impacts the Chicago area, the science behind storms, and steps viewers can take to protect their families and property during extreme weather events.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The ABC7 Eyewitness News Accuweather Team presents "Storm Safety: Keeping You Prepared," as millions in the Chicago area and around the country face increasing storms, flooding, tornadoes and other severe weather.

Research by the American Meteorological Society has found that in the next 15 years, the United States, Chicago area included, may see an increase in dangerous storms. Severe weather affects everyone.

Cheryl Scott checked in with a family impacted by the Naperville-Woodridge tornado of 2021 and also visited the National Weather Service in Romeoville.

READ MORE: Naperville residents share harrowing tornado stories after severe storms strike overnight

Using augmented reality, Larry Mowry shows how tornados, thunderstorms, and hail form. He also rode along with an experienced storm spotter to learn more about watching storms.

Tracy Butler visited a class of students to teach a weather lesson, with tips they can share with their families to help them stay safe.

Have you ever heard of a derecho? The weather phenomenon is defined as a long-lived, widespread and intense thunderstorm event. A derecho swept through the Chicago area in August 2020, snapping trees and power lines. Greg Dutra digs into the science behind derechos, and the proven link between the frequency of extreme weather events like derechos and climate change.

It is likely that we are going to get more rain in the next decade, and more rain means more water in our rivers. The average amount of rainfall in Northeast Illinois is up six inches a year. Jaisol Martinez explains why more flooding may be in our future and what homeowners can do to protect themselves.

READ MORE: What is a 1 in 1,000 year flood? National Weather Service hydrologist explains

Finally, Cheryl Scott has more from the National Weather Service in Romeoville on how radar technology has improved the ability to track storms.