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Tornado and Severe Weather Safety

0 Safety Week - SLATE

April 12-16, 2021 was Tornado and Severe Weather Safety Week in Wisconsin, but this information is relevant throughout the year. Thus, this article will remain on the right side of the page until next winter. Included in this story are weather facts and tips on how to stay safe from all types of threats thunderstorm season brings.

Following are different topics the Stormtracker 18 Weather Team focused on this year in preparation for severe weather season.


Click HERE to learn about how to determine if lightning that you see is close enough to be a threat.


Click HERE to learn the risk from the deadliest threat of thunderstorms, and the deadliest weather risk apart from heat waves.


Click HERE to learn how Severe Thunderstorm wind gusts differ from tornadoes, and in some cases pose a larger threat.


Click HERE to learn how, when, and where to best seek shelter from a tornado and/or severe thunderstorm. Chief Meteorologist Matt Schaefer also explains what to do if you live on an upper floor apartment with no interior rooms, though the answer is never perfect and both every building and every storm is different.


Click HERE for information on how to get warnings, the differences between a watch, warning, and emergency, and what you can expect from the Stormtracker 18 Weather Team when alerts are issued.

Matt Schaefer

Matt Schaefer was promoted to Chief Meteorologist in July of 2019 and has been our evening meteorologist for News 18 since June of 2016. Prior to that, he was our Saturday meteorologist starting in September 2014.

Matt was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He enjoys all the extremes that mother nature throws at the Badger State: from severe thunderstorms to blizzards to subzero temperatures.

Matt studied meteorology in the Midwest as well, earning his Bachelor’s of Science in Meteorology at Valparaiso University in Indiana. There, Matt was heavily involved in VUTV Weather, the Valpo student chapter of AMS/NWA, and VUSIT (Valparaiso University Storm Intercept Team). He’s logged more than 20,000 miles chasing and studying severe storms all across the country and witnessed nine tornadoes including six in one day!

Matt describes himself as a Wisconsin boy at heart and enjoys cheering for the Packers, Brewers, Badgers, and Admirals just to name a few. He loves simply being outdoors and enjoys the Wisconsin wilderness especially in fall, and whitetail deer season!

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