SC severe weather season 'may be very active'

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - On the heels of this past week's massive tornado outbreak, South Carolina is holding its Severe Weather Awareness week. Since spring came early for the Palmetto state, forecasters say that could mean an active severe weather season.

"If you don't do anything you're not going to give yourself any chance to survive," said Ron Morales, National Weather Service warning co-coordinator in Charleston.
Morales' words are a more of a warning, than a recommendation.

"Don't be caught off guard," Morales urges.

South Carolina's severe weather awareness week is beginning a painful reminder from across the country. A tornado outbreak rocked five states this past weekend claiming the lives of at least three dozen people.

"They take entire homes, they take buses and throw them into buildings, they take trains and trucks and they throw them like toys," said Morales explaining the sheer power of tornadoes. "These are things that are very serious. You want to be concerned. You want to know what type of weather you can get in your area."

In this area, Morales says anything is possible so having a safety plan is key.

"Whether you're at school, at work, you're in the shopping center or whatever," said Morales. "You want to be on the lowest level. Interior room if possible. away from windows. You want to put as many walls between you and the outside as possible."

Forecasters say the warm gulf water and the rapidly warming Atlantic Ocean are fuel to feed tornadoes and other severe conditions which means this spring season may be very active.

"You just don't want to rely on warning from us," said Morales. "You want to be looking outside, looking out your window. Watching TV, being on the Internet, whatever it is you're getting your information from stay on top of it."

According to the National Weather Service, there were 20 recorded tornado's in South Carolina last year. They say that number is normal.

Three people were killed and eight people were hurt by those storms.

As part of Severe Weather Awareness week, Live 5 News will join other TV and radio stations across the state to test our emergency alert system for warning you about tornadoes and other severe weather.

That warning will be Tuesday morning on the air at 9am.

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