Extra General Weather info

Tornado
Tornadoes occur all over the world, but no country experiences more tornadoes than the United States, which averages more then nine-hundred annually. About three-fourths of all tornadoes in the U.S. develop from March to July, with May normally having the greatest number of tornadoes. In the event of a tornado, go to the lowest level of your home or go to a room that puts as many walls between you and the outdoors as possible. If you happen to be outside, find the nearest ditch, lie down and cover your head. Knowing this information could save your life.



Hail
Each year between five-hundred and seven-hundred hailstorms produce hail large enough to cause damage or injury in the United States. Although it's rare for a person to be killed by hail from a thunderstorm, hail can be lethal. A hailstone the size of a baseball will fall to earth at a speed close to one-hundred miles per hour. It severe thunderstorms are persent during your outdoor festivities, seek shelter and don't take any chances. It's better to be safe then sorry.



Downbursts
Downbursts happen beneath a thunderstorm. A downburst can become localized so that it hits the ground and spreads horizontally in a radial burst of wind.. much like water pouring from a tap and striking the sink below. A downburst extending two and a half seventy miles per hour. Downbursts are especially a concern for small aircraft that are taking-off or landing, and also can blow down trees and cause heavy damage to buildings. Knowing when thunderstorms are in your area can be a big help.



Squall Line
Squall lines are lines of thunderstorms that may extend for over six hundred miles, with some of the thunderstorms causing severe weather over much of that length. Squall lines are commom during the summer and are typically noted by a sudden wind gust followed immediately by a heavy downpour that may produce more than an inch of rain. Squall lines are also associated with strong, straight-lined winds that can knock over trees and power-lines. Being informed of these weather conditions will help keep you aware of dangerous weather.



Watches and Warnings
As severe weather season approaches, it's important to know what the difference is between a weather watch and a warning. Severe thunderstorm and tornado watches mean that conditions are favorable for strong thunderstonms in the area. They are a "heads up" to help you be aware that nasty weather is approaching. A warning is issued when a severe thunderstorm is moving through your county. If you hear that a warning is in place for your county, you should take shelter immediately.



What makes a Storm Severe?
If there are severe thunderstorms moving through your area, here's the type of weather you can expect from them:
potentially damaging hailstones greater than 3/4 of an inch in diameter
wind gusts in excess of 59 mph,
or tornadoes.



No matter what type of severe weather is present, you should always take shelter immediately if a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning has been issued for your county.



Flooding
Every year flooding causes an average of two billion dollars in damage and kills an average of 100 people in the United States. More than eighty percent of all flood deaths involve a vehicle. Do you know what to do when flooding strikes? If in your car when flood waters approach, leave immediately and get to higher ground. Never drive through a flooded roadway and watch flood prone areas closely. At home, develop a family disaster plan. Include an evacuation route and a designated meeting place in case you are separated. What you know and how you respond may save your life.



Lighting
During a typical year lightning strikes the earth forty times per second and the average bolt is fifty thousand degrees Fahrenheit!!! Lightning is the first thunderstorm hazard to arrive and last to leave.



Do you know what to do when lightning strikes?

  • If outdoors, seek shelter in an enclosed building.
  • Stay away from golf courses, picnic shelters and ball field dugouts.
  • At home, keep clear of electrical appliances and stay off the phone and computer.
  • In your car, roll up the windows and turn your ignition and radio off.




What you know and how you respond may save your life.


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