Monday, March 6, 2023

Episode 650 (3-6-23): Early March Brings Severe Weather Awareness Week to Virginia

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:27).

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Extra Information

Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).

Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 3-3-23.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the weeks of March 6 and March 13, 2023.

MUSIC – ~ ~21 sec – instrumental.

That’s part of “Driving Rain,” by the Charlottesville- and Nelson County, Va.-based band, Chamomile and Whiskey.  It opens an episode on Severe Weather Awareness Week in Virginia, which in 2023 is being observed March 6 through March 10.  Have a listen to the music for about 25 more seconds, and see if you know six kinds of severe weather threats.

MUSIC - ~24 sec – Lyrics: “In the driving rain,” then instrumental.

Six weather-related disaster threats, as listed by the “Prepare” Web site of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, or VDEM, are the following: extreme heat; flooding; hurricanes; thunderstorms plus lightning; tornadoes; and winter weather.  Helping people be aware of and prepared for weather-related threats is the reason for Severe Weather Awareness Week, which in Virginia is being promoted by VDEM and the National Weather Service’s Wakefield Forecast Office.  As VDEM states in its online information, the week is, quote, “designed to refresh, remind, and educate everyone about the seasonal threats from severe weather and how to avoid them.  It’s also a great time to make and practice your emergency plan!,” unquote.  Each weekday of Severe Weather Awareness week is dedicated to a particular topic; for 2023, the topics are these: Monday, March 6 – watches and warnings; Tuesday, March 7 – tornadoes, including a chance to practice a safety plan during a statewide tornado drill at 9:45 a.m. that day; Wednesday, March 8 – severe thunderstorms and associated hail, lightning, and wind; Thursday, March 9 – flash flooding; and Friday, March 10 – outdoor weather safety.  Information on all of these topics, and on how to participate in the March 7 statewide tornado drill, is available from VDEM, online at

Thanks to VDEM, the National Weather Service, and other federal, state, and local agencies and organizations that help people prepare for and respond to severe weather and many other kinds of emergencies.  Thanks also to Chamomile and Whiskey for permission to use this episode’s music, and we close with about 15 more seconds of “Driving Rain.

MUSIC  - ~16 sec – instrumental.


Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of “Cripple Creek” to open and close this episode.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


“Driving Rain,” from the 2012 album “The Barn Sessions,” is copyright by Chamomile and Whiskey and by County Wide Records, used with permission.  More information about Chamomile and Whiskey is available online at  This music was used previously by Virginia Water Radio most recently in Episode 629, 6-6-22.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at


(Except as otherwise noted, photographs are by Virginia Water Radio.)

Flooding-awareness sign along Fort Valley Road, beside Passage Creek, at the county line between Shenandoah and Warren counties in Virginia, August 22, 2016.

Weather-emergency shelter sign on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, March 11, 2019.

Rain bands of Hurricane Isobel over Virginia as seen from National Weather Service radar at Wakefield, Va., September 18, 2003.  Photo accessed from the NOAA Photo Library (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/U.S. Department of Commerce), online at, accessed 3-6-23 (specific URL for the image was


The following safety recommendations were taken from National Weather Service/Wakefield, Va., Forecast Office, “Virginia Severe Weather Awareness Week 2023/Friday: Outdoor Weather Safety,” online at, as of 3-6-23.

“Know Before You Go! Before heading outdoors, check the latest forecast from [for the Hampton Roads, Va., region], or from [another] trusted weather source.  If severe weather is expected, stay home, or go before the weather is expected to deteriorate.

“Monitor the Weather.  Have a NOAA Weather Radio, and/or apps that have radar and lightning data.  Make sure you have a way to receive weather warnings. 

“Stop all Activities when you hear thunder or when weather conditions look threatening.  The first lightning strike can come out of a clear blue sky many miles ahead of an approaching thunderstorm cloud.

“Know your area.  In hilly terrain, flash floods can strike with little or no advance warning.  Distant rain may be channeled into gullies and ravines, turning a quiet stream into a rampaging torrent in minutes.  Never camp on low ground next to streams since a flash flood can catch you while you're asleep.

“Turn Around Don't Drown.  If you come upon flood waters, stop, turn around, and go another way.  Climb to higher ground.

“When Thunder Roars Go Indoors.  There is no 100% safe shelter outside.  The only place of safety from lightning is inside a vehicle or a substantial, enclosed structure.  Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible automobiles.  Stay away from tall objects such as towers, fences, telephone poles, and power lines.”


National Weather Service/Wakefield, Va., Forecast Office, online at

Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM):
“Severe Weather Awareness Week” (including information on the statewide tornado drill), online at; and
“Prepare: Be Ready When Disaster Strikes,” online at  At this site, the kinds of severe weather listed under “Disaster Threats Information,” as of 2-28-23, were the following (with links to more information):
Extreme heat:;
Lightning and thunderstorms:;
Winter weather:


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (  See particularly the “Weather/Climate/Natural Disasters” subject category.

Following are links to some other episodes on severe weather preparedness.

Episode 489, 9-9-19 – on storm surge.
Episode 568, 3-15-21 – on tornadoes.
Episode 629, 6-6-22 – most recent annual season-preview episode.
Episode 470, 4-29-19 – on weather messages (watches, warnings, etc.).
Episode 643, 12-5-22 – most recent annual winter-preparedness episode.


Following are some Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) that may be supported by this episode’s audio/transcript, sources, or other information included in this post.

2020 Music SOLs

SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

2018 Science SOLs

Grades K-3 plus 5: Matter
K.4 – Water is important in our daily lives and has properties.

Grades K-5: Earth and Space Systems
1.7 – There are weather and seasonal changes; including that changes in temperature, light, and precipitation affect plants and animals, including humans.
2.6 – There are different types of weather on Earth.
2.7 – Weather patterns and seasonal changes affect plants, animals, and their surroundings.
3.7 – There is a water cycle and water is important to life on Earth.
4.4 – Weather conditions and climate have effects on ecosystems and can be predicted.

Grades K-5: Earth Resources
3.8 – Natural events and humans influence ecosystems.

Grade 6
6.6 – Water has unique physical properties and has a role in the natural and human-made environment.
6.7 – Air has properties and the Earth’s atmosphere has structure and is dynamic.

Life Science
LS.5 – Biotic and abiotic factors affect an ecosystem.
LS.8 – Change occurs in ecosystems, communities, populations, and organisms over time.

Earth Science

ES.11 – The atmosphere is a complex, dynamic system subject to long-and short-term variations.
ES.12 – The Earth’s weather and climate result from the interaction of the sun’s energy with the atmosphere, oceans, and the land.

BIO.8 – Dynamic equilibria exist within populations, communities, and ecosystems.

2015 Social Studies SOLs

Grades K-3 Geography Theme
1.6 – Virginia climate, seasons, and landforms.

Virginia Studies Course
VS.10 – Knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.6 – Government at the national level.
CE.7 – Government at the state level.
CE.8 – Government at the local level.

World Geography Course
WG.2 – How selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including climate, weather, and how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.

Government Course
GOVT.7 – National government organization and powers.
GOVT.8 – State and local government organization and powers.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.
Episode 524, 5-11-20 – on sounds by water-related animals, for elementary school through high school.
Episode 531, 6-29-20 – on various ways that animals get water, for 3rd and 4th grade.
Episode 539, 8-24-20 – on basic numbers and facts about Virginia’s water resources, for 4th and 6th grade.
Episode 606, 12-6-21 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.