Why worry about Thunderstorms?
- Causes an average of 55-60 fatalities and 400 injuries each year
- Occurs with all thunderstorms
- Costs more than $1 billion in insured losses each year
- Cause an average of 60-65 fatalities and 1,500 injuries each year
- Can produce wind speeds in excess of 200 mph
- Can be 1 mile wide and stay on the ground over 50 miles
- Can exceed 125 mph
- Can cause destruction equal to a tornado
- Are extremely dangerous to aviation
Flash Floods and Floods...
-Are the #1 cause of deaths associated with thunderstorms, more than 90 fatalities each year
- Can be larger than a softball (5 inches in diameter)
- Causes more than $1 billion in crop and property damage each year
The National Weather Service considers a thunderstorm severe if it produces hail at least one inch in diameter, winds of 58 mph or stronger, or a tornado.
How far way is the Lightning ?
- Count the number of seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of the thunder
- Divide this number by 5 to get an estimate of the distance in miles to the lightning strike
- If you are outdoors and hear thunder, you are in a danger of being struck by lightning
What You can do before Severe Weather Strikes
- Develop a plan for you and your family at home, work, school and when outdoors.
- Practice your plan
- Know the risks in the area where you live and work.
- NWS warnings identify locations in the path of the approaching severe weather
- Have a NOAA weather battery operated radio to receive warnings
- Always heed warnings even if warnings issued for your area in the past did not result in severe weather. Don't gamble with your life.
- Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes can and do occur at any location, anytime of year given the right atmospheric conditions
Watches and Warnings
- Severe Thunderstorm Watch - NWS have determined that severe thunderstorms are likely to occur in your area. Watch the sky and stay tuned for NWS warnings.
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning - NWS have determined that a severe thunderstorm is occurring or likely to occur. Warnings indicate that danger to life and property may happen.
NWS Outlook = Get Ready
NWS Watch = Get Set
NWS Warning = Stop and Take Action