Why were there no tornado warnings issued? - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Why were there no tornado warnings issued?

(KPLC) -

If you follow KPLC’s broadcast or digital and social platforms, you probably saw that we issued a First Alert Weather Day Wednesday and Thursday due to the threat of severe weather across Southwest Louisiana. 

These first alert weather days are issued by KPLC, with input from our team of meteorologists, when a severe weather threat is possible. We take these days incredibly seriously, and routinely add staff and resources to make sure we do our best to make sure you are informed during times of weather threats. 

On Thursday morning, four confirmed tornadoes touched down between 4 a.m. and 5:15 a.m. in Allen and Calcasieu Parish.

But while you may have seen and heard alerts on your phone from our 7StormTeam mobile app indicating lightning and rain near your home, you never saw a tornado watch or warning Thursday morning.

And I’m sure you’re wondering why.

You may not know that KPLC does not have the authority to issue watches and warnings.

Those are actually issued by the National Weather Service. Once the National Weather Service issues an alert, it goes straight to your phone through our apps, our website, and on TV because we have the technology to make that happen. 

I personally reached out to the National Weather Service to ask the question – why were no watches or warnings issued?

Roger Erickson, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service, explains what happened.

“Early yesterday morning, we had 4 confirmed tornadoes in Calcasieu and Allen Parishes. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

“From the weather perspective, we saw a risk for tornadoes Wednesday afternoon and evening, as a tornado watch was in place for our region. However, as the line of storms slowed down, the event transitioned from a severe weather threat to a heavy rain and flooding threat. A flash flood watch was also in place, and many flash flood warnings were issued through the early morning hours due to the 5 to 10 inches of rain.

For a short period of time, a severe weather threat returned in the early morning hours, between 4 and 530 am. That was the time frame when we had the four tornadoes. We did not anticipate the storms becoming severe, as we had not seen anything on radar or had any reports from the area of any damages.

Spring is a common time of year to see severe weather like tornadoes. And we encourage everyone to have a plan on what to do if severe weather hits your area. Know where the best place to protect yourself in your home or work. Stay away from windows and doors. Try to cover up and protect yourself from flying debris. Sometimes severe weather strikes with little or no warning.”

We at KPLC are also extremely grateful there were no injuries reported. And while this explanation may not entirely help you understand why that tornado watch never made it to your mobile device, I hope it provides perspective.

We will continue to work with the National Weather Service to track storms, issue First Alert Weather days when needed, and keep you and your families safe. And as severe weather season is upon us, I’d encourage everyone to have a severe weather plan in place.

Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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