Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thunderstorms and Lighting

All thunderstorms produce lightning and are dangerous. If you can see lightning you are close enough to be struck. Lightning can occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall and is responsible for killing more people than tornadoes each year. Other dangers associated with thunderstorms include flash flooding, strong winds (i.e. straight-line winds), hail, wildfires, and tornadoes.

Then a thunderstorm is in your area:

  • Stay away from glass doors and windows.
  • Move to a basement or interior room in the house.
  • Keep outdoor objects secure that could become projectiles, such as lawn chairs, trash cans and toys.
  • Close window blinds, shades or curtains to buffer any glass breakage or flying debris.
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio, or local radio and TV broadcasts for storm updates.
  • Assemble a family preparedness kit and create your emergency plan that designates a place for your family to meet both in and outside your immediate neighborhood should you become separated.
  • For more information about Thunderstorms & Lightning,

Facts About Thunderstorms
  • They may occur singly, in clusters, or in lines.
  • Some of the most severe occur when a single thunderstorm affects one location for an extended time.
  • Thunderstorms typically produce heavy rain for a brief period, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Warm, humid conditions are highly favorable for thunderstorm development.
  • About 10 percent of thunderstorms are classified as severe—one that produces hail at least three-quarters of an inch in diameter, has winds of 58 miles per hour or higher, or produces a tornado.

Facts About Lightning
  • Lightning’s unpredictability increases the risk to individuals and property.
  • Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.
  • "Heat lightning" is actually lightning from a thunderstorm too far away for thunder to be heard. However, the storm may be moving in your direction!
  • Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.
  • Your chances of being struck by lightning are estimated to be 1 in 600,000, but could be reduced even further by following safety precautions.
  • Lightning strike victims carry no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately.
Mother Nature's Light Show

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