Thunderstorm Preparedness

What is a Severe Thunderstorm?

Severe thunderstorms are defined as thunderstorms that produce one inch hail or larger and or strong wind gusts of 58 miles per hour or greater.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch vs. Severe Thunderstorm Warning

A severe thunderstorm watch may be issued by the National Weather Service when conditions are favorable for the development of thunderstorms.

A severe thunderstorm warning is issued by the National Weather Service when either a severe thunderstorm is occurring, has been detected by National Weather Service Doppler Radar, or a reliable report has been received. Persons in the warned area should take immediate action to protect their lives, lives of others, and their property. Tornadoes can and occasionally do accompany severe thunderstorms. Treat this warning the same as you would for a Tornado Warning by taking the proper safety precautions.

How can I prepare for severe thunderstorms?

  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall on you or your home and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Secure any outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage (garbage cans, etc.)
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.  This will help stop glass from flying through the room in case a window is broken.

What about lightning?

Lightning is deadly.  It can strike far away from a thunderstorm.  It does not have to be raining at your location.

You should take personal responsibility for the safety of yourself and your family when lightning is a threat.  DO NOT allow children to practice sports or play outside when lightning is possible.

Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule:

  1. Go inside if, after seeing lightning flash, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder.
  2. Stay inside for at least 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.