Wyoming this week is marking National Severe Weather Awareness week – observed this time of year because of the severe weather that is experienced in much of the nation including frequent tornadoes in the Midwest. While tornadoes are extremely rare in northwestern Wyoming, Severe Weather Meteorologist Chris Jones says another wind event is not. He says the bigger threat here is straight-line winds, or “microbursts,” coming out of the thunderstorms. Jones says people may recall some damage done to Jackson Lake Lodge a few years ago and in town just last year. In addition to microbursts, strong thunderstorms here can pack damaging hail which has also been experienced here in recent years. Jones says residents and visitors can easily receive advisories about the potential for such storms from a variety of sources here. Jones says wireless emergency alerts are being sent by the leading cell phone providers in the area especially for blizzards or flash floods, and people in Teton County can get on Nixle to get local alerts. However, Jones points out that the local media is still a key source for such information, including Jackson Hole Radio. Possibly as important as the electronic notifications, Jones says word-of-mouth is a key to assuring people in an area remain safe. Jones urges people to pass on what they have heard or seen. Jones says social science studies have found that more people take action when they have confirmation from someone they trust about an evolving situation.