The Spanish word for electrical storm is ‘tormenta’. Or if you’re from Puerto Rico, you can call it a ‘tronada’.
‘Tornado’ is ‘tornado’, but in Colombia, that term is used to describe a strong gust of wind, not a tornado.
Therefore, providing information about extreme weather to Latino immigrants in the US can be difficult because people come from various places with different dialects.
And in some countries, weather events like ice storms or hail are rare. Therefore, some immigrants may not know the risks or how to stay safe when they occur.
“We can’t encourage people to take action if they don’t know, or can’t even describe to them, the threat,” says Joseph Trujillo Falcón of NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for High-Impact and Severe Weather Research and Operations.
He worked with linguistic experts to review the Spanish terms of the National Meteorological Service to describe the level of risk posed by severe storms.
He says the new standardized terms, which range from “minimal” to “extreme,” can be widely understood across dialects and clearly convey the appropriate level of urgency.
“Especially as our climate begins to make different types of disasters much more of a concern, we need to make sure everyone is included in the disaster preparedness and response process,” he says.
Read: Why climate change is important for Latinos
Information Credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media