Monday, October 20, 2014
     

Severe Weather

 

Tornadoes

  • Cause an average of 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries each year
  • Produce wind speeds in excess of 250 mph.
  • Can be one mile wide and stay on the ground over 50 miles.

Tornado Facts

  • A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground.
  • Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year but are most frequent during the spring and summer months.
  • 88% of all tornadoes are classified as weak tornadoes with winds less than 110 mph with a lifetime of 1 - 10+ minutes.
  • 11% of all tornadoes are classified as strong tornadoes with winds 110-205 mph with a lifetime that may last 20 minutes or longer.
  • Less than 1% of all tornadoes are classified as violent tornadoes with winds greater than 205 mph and a lifetime that can exceed 1 hour.
  • No place is safe from tornadoes.
  • People caught in the open should seek shelter in a sturdy building if at all possible.  Overpasses, ditches and culverts may provide limited protection from a tornado, but your risk will be greatly reduced by moving inside a strong building.

Whose most at risk?  People who are in mobile homes and automobiles!

BE PREPARED!

  • In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement.
  • If an underground shelter is not available, move to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture.  Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
  • Stay away from windows!
  • Get out of automobiles.  Don't try to outrun a tornado in your car.  Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.
  • Be aware of flying debris.
  • Leave mobile homes immediately!  Go to the lowest floor of a sturdy nearby building or a storm shelter.

More information on tornadoes can be found at www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/index.html

Lightning

  • Causes an average of 80 fatalities and 300 injuries each year
  • Occurs with all thunderstorms

Lightning Facts

  • Most lightning fatalaties and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.
  • Lightning can occur from cloud-to-cloud, within a cloud, cloud-to-ground, or cloud-to-air.
  • The air near a lightning strike is heated to 50,000 degrees F - hotter than the surface of the sun!  The rapid heating and cooling of the air near the lightning channel causes a shock wave that results in thunder.
  • Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.
  • Lightning strike victims carry no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately.

Whose most at risk?  People who are outdoors especially under or near tall trees; in or on water; or on or near hilltops!

BE PREPARED!

  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Move to a sturdy building or car.  Stay away from tall objects such as towers, fences, telephone poles and power lines.
  • Do not take a bath or shower during a thunderstorm.
  • If caught outdoors, find a low spot away from trees, fences and poles. 
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter.

Strong Winds

  • Can exceed 100 mph
  • Can cause damage equal to a tornado
  • Can be extremely dangerous to aviation
  • Straight-line winds are responsible for most thunderstorm wind damage

Flash Flooding

  • Is the #1 cause of deaths associated with thunderstorms... more than 140 fatalaties each year.
  • Most flash flood fatalaties are people who have become trapped in automobiles.
  • Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet; a depth of two feet will cause most vehicles to float.

Whose most at risk?  People who walk or drive through flood waters!

BE PREPARED!

  • Avoid walking, swimming or driving in flood waters.
  • Stay away from high water, storm drains, ditches, ravines, or culverts.
  • If you come upon flood waters, stop, turn around and go another way.  Climb to higher ground.
  • Do not let children play near storm drains.

Hail

  • Causes more than $1 billion in crop and property damage each year.
  • Large stones fall at speeds faster than 100 mph!

All information was taken from the following website:  www.nws.noaa.gov/om/brochures/ttl.pdf