Tornadoes on Memorial Day Remind Residents to Heed Warnings

By Aaron Smith

At least 18 tornadoes blew through Ohio on Memorial Day night, ripping through communities not far north of here, leaving swaths of damage and at least one person dead.

May is the middle of tornado season and western Ohio is near the top of Tornado Alley, which starts down in Texas and is a general, northeasterly path along which tornadoes form.

Severe weather injuries can be avoided by paying attention to safety precautions installed in Butler County.

Watches and Warnings

A severe thunderstorm watch or a tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service when conditions are likely to develop into severe storms or tornadoes.

A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when a severe thunderstorm is shown on the radar or is spotted by observers on the ground. A tornado warning is issued when a thunderstorm has a strong rotation on the radar or when a tornado is actually spotted.


Tornado sirens are activated in Butler County when a tornado warning has been issued by the National Weather Service. There are 13 sirens located in Oxford and Oxford Township including one on campus.

The sirens are used to notify citizens to get indoors and turn on their TV or radio. The sirens will sound their tone for five minutes, and repeat every 10 minutes until the dangerous weather has moved out of the area.

In the case of a siren not working, residents will hear police or fire sirens or both to alert them of the severe thunderstorms or tornado. Many people may also receive severe weather alerts through their phones.

Safety tips

In the case of a tornado make sure to get to  the lowest level of a building with no windows. If outside, seek a sturdy building to get inside of.

During a tornado, Drivers should  be sure to drive to the nearest shelter.  In the absence of shelter get to the ground to cover your head for some protection.

Make sure to have a radio to listen to for updates.