Winter storm watches and warnings are in effect for portions of GA, NC, SC, and TN. Snow totals as of March 2, 2010: 9.8″ Henderson County, NC, 8.0″ Jasper, GA, 7.0″ Madison County, NC, 7.0″ Lookout Mt, GA, 6.0″ Coker Creek, TN, 6.0″ Habersham County, GA. A tsunami has swept away a bus full of Chilean retirees. 5 bodies have been found so far. Over 90 aftershocks have occurred around Chile since Saturday’s earthquake. Chile has been declared a state of catastrophe. This is the second largest quake to strike Chile in 50 years. The death toll is now near 800. 350 from the town of Constitucion alone.
During the spring months is when thunderstorm activity increases. In Illinois, June and July are the peak thunderstorm months.
The criteria for a thunderstorm to be classified as severe is for it to be capable of producing damaging winds of 60 mph or greater and/or destructive hail 1″ or greater in diameter.
Severe thunderstorms can also produce tornadoes, flooding rains, and frequent cloud to ground lightning.
Lightning is one of the deadliest weather phenomenon and is what defines a thunderstorm. It is the most frequent weather threat to people during the thunderstorm season.
Severe thunderstorms presents a threat to both life and property. On average, 58 people are killed each year by lightning. Below is a list of terms, facts, and tips on severe thunderstorms and lightning.
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means that severe thunderstorms are possible in your area within the next few hours.
A Severe Thunderstorm Warning means that severe thunderstorms are approaching or are occurring in your area.
Severe thunderstorm/lightning facts:
- Straight-line winds and downbursts from a thunderstorm can cause more damage than nearly 70% of the tornadoes that occur in Illinois!
- A thunderstorm doesn’t have to be severe for lightning to occur.
- Most lightning deaths occur under or near trees and in open fields.
- There have been 27 people killed by lightning in Illinois since 1990.
Plans/actions to take in the case of a thunderstorm (severe or non-severe):
According to the 30 yr average, lightning is the second leading cause to weather fatalities.
- Stay away from all windows and doors during the storm.
- Have some source of media to monitor for the latest weather information.
- Avoid using a corded telephone or other electrical appliances until the storm passes.
- Turn off air conditioners. If lightning strikes, a power surge could damage the compressor.
- Delay taking baths or showers until after the storm passes due to the lightning threat.
- If outdoors, seek shelter IMMEDIATELY! If you can hear thunder, you are probably close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning.
- If you are driving, pull safely to the shoulder away from trees and power lines. Lightning can flash from trees or power poles and strike a vehicle. The rubber tires do NOT keep lightning from striking a vehicle. Normally, in the open, a vehicle is a safe shelter from lightning. Avoid touching metal parts of the vehicle when lightning is nearby.
- If you are in a boat when a thunderstorm threatens, you should attempt to reach shore as quickly as possible.
- If you find yourself in a position where there is no immediate shelter available, find a low spot away from trees and power poles.