Severe Weather Awareness Week continues with a discussion on severe thunderstorm safety. Severe thunderstorms are unique in that they can strike during any season, even winter. Just more reason to be prepared. Stormtracker 19 Meteorologist Alex Wasilenko wraps up the discussion on how to stay safe in the event of a severe thunderstorm.
Thunderstorms are the apple of many eyes across the Midwest. There is nothing quite like the first thunderstorm of the year to bring in that fresh, spring air. How about the flashing display of lightning? Thunderstorms can evolve, turn dangerous, and even severe in the blink of an eye.
Hazards from severe thunderstorms can be damaging. Chief Meteorologist Dan Breeden says, "One of the criteria for severe thunderstorms; well, first of all strong winds. Fifty-five miles per hour or greater will be enough to cause damage, so that's number one. Number two, large hail. Anything over quarter size. That's about an inch and a quarter; will cause issues."
Severe thunderstorms also encompass the two deadliest components of severe weather. Breeden adds, "Lightning is also an issue with severe and non-severe thunderstorms, for that matter. And of course, also the possibility of flash flooding. Severe thunderstorms can often go along with flash flooding issues." If activities bring you outdoors, stay proactive. Make sure your emergency plan can still be enacted even away from home. Todd Shea, the warning coordination meteorologist at the La Crosse National Weather Service adds his thoughts by saying, "I think one of the things people forget about is with our busy daily lives is, if your family is doing different activities on a given afternoon or evening, where would they go? Where would they meet?"
Once a severe thunderstorm watch is issued Dan Breeden says, "Take note. Watch the forecast. If you want to watch radar, that's good. Find out where things are. Watch our coverage, go to our website, go to our mobile app. Use anything you can to see how close and how imminent that danger is." Whether it be tornadoes, flash flooding, or severe thunderstorms, there is no reason or excuses to be caught off guard this severe weather season.
Severe weather season looks to be on hold at least for the time being. That's why now is the time to get those emergency plans in place. Also, plans for your three P's; purses, pills, and pets. Start making those preparations as soon as possible, and stay ahead of that forecast with our Stormtracker 19 Weather App.