Tuesday’s focus for Fall Severe Weather Preparedness is Severe Thunderstorms and Lightning

Kingfisher, OK 8-19-07 This red car was washed off the highway and it occupants had to be rescued from flood waters from Tropical Storm Erin.  FEMA has a preparedness program to make people aware of the dangers of driving though flooded roads.   Marvin Nauman/FEMA photo

Lightning, large hail and damaging winds from thunderstorms are just as deadly as tornadoes. Today for Fall Severe Weather Preparedness we look at the dangerous aspects of thunderstorms.

Get prepared and stay safe during a thunderstorm:
1 – Avoid water/plumbing – Lightning can travel through plumbing
2 – Avoid electronic equipment of all types. Lightning can travel through electrical systems and television and radio reception systems.
3 – Avoid corded phones
4 – Avoid concrete floors and walls as it too, is a conductor of electricity
5 – The best place to go is a sturdy building or a car, but make sure the windows in the car are shut. …
6 – If there is no shelter around you, stay away from trees.
7 – If you’re with a group of people stay about 15 feet from each other.
8 – Avoid metals

How are thunderstorms formed?
The air cools as it rises. Water vapor condenses and forms cumulus clouds. When condensation occurs, heat (latent heat/energy ) is released and helps the thunderstorm grow. At some point, condensation high in the cloud (now in the form of water droplets and ice) falls to the ground as rain.

What not to do when there is a thunderstorm?
Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches. Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls. Avoid natural lightning rods such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area. Avoid hilltops, open fields, the beach or a boat on the water.

What damage is caused by thunderstorms?
Under the right conditions, rainfall from thunderstorms causes flash flooding, killing more people each year than hurricanes, tornadoes or lightning.

For more information on Severe Weather Preparedness Week and Severe Thunderstorms and Lightning visit: https://www.weather.gov/jan/swpwfall

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