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From the Publisher

From the NFH Team

June is finally here ñ the kids are out of school, the weather is usually warm and itís time for those lazy days of summer!June also brings the summer solstice ñ the longest day and shortest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer. The word ìsolsticeî is a combination of Latin words meaning ìsunî and ìstand still.îThis year, the celestial event takes place June 20 at 7:09 p.m. EDT.Although not much has been written about earlier days, Native Americans left testimonials of how they paid homage to the solstice. They built a monument to the sun in the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming; and Native Americans in Chaco Canyon, Colo., left markings on the Fajada Butte, highlighting their worship of the solstice sun.Today, many people ñ Native Americans and others ñ flock to those areas during the summer solstice. The inscriptions have changed over time on the monuments because of weather and shifts in the ground, but followers of the Native American culture believe in the mystical powers that inhabit the mountains.The summer solstice kicks off the summer season, while June is a magnet for all kinds of weather, from days filled with sunshine to tornadoes to hail.According to the Farmerís Almanac:

  • If June is sunny, the harvest will come early.
  • A cold and wet June spoils the rest of the year.
  • June, damp and warm, does a farmer no harm.
  • An early harvest is expected when the bramble blossoms early in June.
  • When it is hottest in June, it will be coldest in the correlating days of the following February.
  • A wet June makes a dry September.
  • Calm weather in June sets corn in tune.
While enjoying the June sunshine, we have to keep an eye out for those tornadoes that can unexpectedly whip across the Colorado plains.The strongest and most violent tornadoes most consistently occur in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, northern Texas and eastern Colorado ñ known as Tornado Alley.In comparison to other states, Colorado ranks No. 9 for frequency of tornadoes; and No. 38, 31 and 30 for the number of deaths, injuries and damage costs, respectively. The latest state-by-state comparison is from 1950 to 1995. Each year from 1999 to 2009, Colorado experienced an average of 60 tornadoes that touched land.Most of us know the drill, but itís worth repeating: A tornado watch is a notification that conditions are prime for a tornado; a warning means one has been spotted. So, when a warning is issued, the experts advise we heed the following:
  • Move to a pre-designated shelter ñ a basement or an interior room on the lowest level of the house.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Get out of automobiles and donít try to seek shelter under an overpass.
  • If a sturdy building is nearby, get inside. If no building is available, lie flat on the ground and cover your head. Tornadoes do not follow terrain exactly so if a tornado is heading in your direction it will likely pass over you. However, be wary of flash flooding and culverts that collect debris.
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado.
  • If you live in a mobile home, leave it.
Maybe this year we can skip the tornadoes and get right down to the lazy days of summer.See you in July!– Deb, Michelle and the NFH team

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