WEB EXTRA: What You Need to Know About Severe Weather

Published 03/06 2014 06:45PM

Updated 03/06 2014 06:50PM


Know the Facts:

■ Forward speed: 30 mph on average but can be up to 70 mph

■ Circulating wind speeds: can be greater than 200 mph

■ Size: Can be over 2 miles wide

■ Travel Distance: Can stay on the ground over 100 miles



Safety Tips:

■ Safest places: safe room, or an interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building

■ Mobile homes are not safe!  Go to the nearest sturdy building immediately.

■ Do NOT seek shelter under a bridge or overpass!  The narrow passage creates a wind tunnel effect.  Wind speeds actually increase.

■ Options while driving:

A) Seek shelter in a sturdy building

B) Exit your car and lie in a low-lying ditch, covering your head with your hands.

C) Stay in your car with the seat belt on. Crouch below the windows, and cover your head.




Know the Facts:

■ Calculate lightning’s distance from you (in miles):

1)     Count the seconds between lightning and resulting thunder.

2)     Divide the number by 5

■ The energy from one lightning flash can light a 100-watt light bulb for more than 3 months.

■ Lightning can heat the air to 50,000°F—hotter than the sun!

■ Rapid heating and cooling of the air from a lightning strike produces thunder




Safety Tips:

■ When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors! 

■ Find sturdy shelter: Sheds, picnic shelters, or covered porches do not protect from lightning.

■ The steel frame of a car provides good shelter during lightning

■ Remember the 30/30 Rule:

- Take shelter if you hear thunder within 30 seconds of seeing lightning.

- Stay inside until 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder.

■ Lightning can occur within 10 miles of a thunderstorm

■ Do not use electrical appliances or corded phones

■ Stay away from windows, wiring and water pipes.

■ Unplug electronics in advance.

■ Avoid open areas and stay away from isolated tall objects


Straight Line Winds:

Know the Facts:

■ Speed: Can exceed 125 mph

■ Damage: Can cause destruction equal to a tornado

■ Origin: Usually from thunderstorms

■ Types of straight line winds:

-Downbursts- strong winds produced when a thunderstorm’s dense, rain-cooled air rushes to the ground and spreads out in all directions

-Derechos- strong winds occurring over hundreds of miles; produced from a line of intense, widespread, and fast-moving thunderstorms



Know the Facts:

■ Size: Can be larger than a softball (5 inches in diameter)

■ Yearly Damage: More than $1 billion in crop and property damage

■ Fall Speed: Can be faster than 100 mph!

■ Largest recorded U.S. hailstone: 8 inches (VivianSouth Dakota, in July 2010)



Know the Facts:

■ #1 cause of deaths associated with thunderstorms


■ More than half of all flood-related drownings occur from driving into flood water.

■ 6 inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet.

■ 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles.




Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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