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Spring is Here! So is severe weather

What is a severe thunderstorm?

A thunderstorm is classified as “severe” when it contains one or more of the following: hail one inch or greater, winds gusting in excess of 50 knots (57.5 mph), or a tornado.

How many thunderstorms are there?

Worldwide, there are an estimated 16 million thunderstorms each year, and at any given moment, there are roughly 2,000 thunderstorms in progress. There are about 100,000 thunderstorms each year in the U.S. alone. About 10% of these reach severe levels.

When are thunderstorms most likely?

Thunderstorms are most likely in the spring and summer months and during the afternoon and evening hours, but they can occur year-round and at all hours. 

What kinds of damage can thunderstorms cause?

Many hazardous weather events are associated with thunderstorms. Under the right conditions, rainfall from thunderstorms causes flash flooding, killing more people each year than hurricanes, tornadoes or lightning. Lightning is responsible for many fires around the world each year, and causes fatalities. Hail up to the size of softballs damages cars and windows, and kills livestock caught out in the open. Strong (up to more than 120 mph) straight-line winds associated with thunderstorms knock down trees, power lines and mobile homes. Tornadoes (with winds up to about 300 mph) can destroy all but the best-built man-made structures.

What is the difference between a Severe Thunderstorm WATCH and a Severe Thunderstorm WARNING?

A Severe Thunderstorm WATCH is issued by the NOAA Storm Prediction Center meteorologists who are watching the weather 24/7 across the entire U.S. for weather conditions that are favorable for severe thunderstorms. A watch can cover parts of a state or several states. Watch and prepare for severe weather and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio to know when warnings are issued. 

A Severe Thunderstorm WARNING is issued by your local NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office meteorologists who watch a designated area 24/7 for severe weather that has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings mean there is a serious threat to life and property to those in the path of the storm. ACT now to find safe shelter! A warning can cover parts of counties or several counties in the path of danger.

When are tornadoes most likely?

Tornado season usually refers to the time of year the U.S. sees the most tornadoes. The peak “tornado season” for the Southern Plains is during May into early June. On the Gulf coast, it is earlier during the spring. In the northern plains and upper Midwest, tornado season is in June or July. But, remember, tornadoes can happen at any time of year. Tornadoes can also happen at any time of day or night, but most tornadoes occur between 4–9 p.m.

What is the difference between a Tornado WATCH and a Tornado WARNING?

A Tornado WATCH is issued by the NOAA Storm Prediction Center meteorologists who watch the weather 24/7 across the entire U.S. for weather conditions that are favorable for tornadoes. A watch can cover parts of a state or several states. Watch and prepare for severe weather and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio to know when warnings are issued.

A Tornado WARNING is issued by your local NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office meteorologists who watch the weather 24/7 over a designated area. This means a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar and there is a serious threat to life and property to those in the path of the tornado. ACT now to find safe shelter! A warning can cover parts of counties or several counties in the path of danger.

Watch this Youtube video for a great explanation!

(Source: https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/)

 Fire safety videos and tips

1. Close your door-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUqjNF_DNkQ

A simple nighttime routine can wind up saving countless lives: close the door! Researchers are finding that fire spread is occuring far more rapidly with modern home furnishings, which often incorporate synthetic, petroleum-based products as coverings and stuffing. Simply closing the bedroom door at night can provide more survivable temperatures, higher oxygen concentrations, and reduced exposure to carbon monoxide for occupants if a fire ignites outside the room. In conjunction with creating a simple barrier to fire and toxic smoke, preparing escape plans for each member of the family is paramount.

2. Hands only CPR-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_49wMpdews

There are many risk factors for a heart attack, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, a history of stroke, obesity, or diabetes. Signs and symptoms of a heart attack vary by individual but there are several common signs: shortness of breath; pain in the jaw, neck, back, shoulder, or chest; feeling faint. IF A HEART ATTACK IS SUSPECTED, DIAL 911 IMMEDIATELY.