While some thunderstorms can be seen as they approach, others are not visible. Recognizing the warning signs can help.
Severe Thunderstorm Watch and Warning
The National Weather Service is responsible for issuing both a thunderstorm "Watch" and thunderstorm "Warning".
THUNDERSTORM WATCH - the potential exists for the development of thunderstorms which may produce large hail or damaging winds.
THUNDERSTORM WARNING - means that a severe thunderstorm is occurring or is imminent based on Doppler radar information
Warning signs of thunderstorm conditions:
- Dark towering or threatening clouds
- Distant lightning and thunder
During a Thunderstorm
OUTDOOR HAZARDS - During thunderstorms dead or rotting trees and branches can fall during a severe thunderstorm and cause injury or property damage. Time permitting, tie down lawn chairs and other objects, or else bring them inside a storage shed, garage or other secure place.
Personal Protection Information
IF YOU ARE OUTDOORS
- Attempt to get inside of a building.
- If no building is available, squat low in an open space such as a field.
- Place your hands on your knees and do not lie flat on the ground.
- Never stand underneath a single tree. If in a wooded area, find an area protected by a low clump of trees.
- Kneel or crouch with you hands on your knees.
- Avoid natural lightning rods such as tools, golf clubs, tractors, fishing rods, bicycles or camping equipment.
IF YOU ARE IN A CAR
- Stay in the car, but pull safely off to the shoulder of the road and stay away from trees that could fall onto the vehicle.
- Stay in the car and use your emergency flashers until the storm passes.
- DO NOT SEEK SHELTER UNDER OVERPASSES. This could lead to the stopping of traffic and will prevent emergency personnel from getting to those in need of assistance.