double_tornado.jpgWith 0.12 inches of rain falling early this morning Central Park has already had more rain in April (0.84 inches) than all of March (0.80). Because of the rain, and much to Gothamist's delight, Morningside Park was green this morning. As the rain disappears the operative word for the rest of the day is brisk. Brisk as in highs in the mid-to-upper-40s and wind gusts up to 30 mph this afternoon. Spring lovers do not despair, tomorrow will be ten degrees warmer and sunny. Rain returns Friday and Saturday because it is April and we live in the northeastern U.S.

Severe Weather Awareness Week continues today with severe weather preparedness and safety. Tornadoes aren't all that common in New York City but they can happen. According to the city's Office of Emergency management, four tornadoes have been confirmed in the city since 1960. The most recent struck Queens in 1995, killing one person. A more common threat is lightning. Between 1959 and 2002 lightning strikes killed 132 people in the state. In 2002 a 25-year-old man died and a 24-year-old woman was injured while watching a lightning storm from the roof of a building on Broome Street. The take away items from the Weather Service's and OEM's safety tips are these: have a plan before severe weather strikes, pay attention to the weather forecast, when a storm strikes inside is safer than outside, if a tornado warning sounds get to an interior room or basement of a building if you can. Tomorrow's severe weather topic: the meteorology of tornadoes and tornado safety.

Double Tornado (2004) and three other tornado sculptures by Jene Highstein are in Madison Square Park through April.