Severe Thunderstorm Watch
A severe thunderstorm watch is issued when severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. It does not mean that they will occur. It only means they are possible. Severe thunderstorms are defined as follows: Winds of 58 mph or higher and/or Hail 3/4 of an inch in diameter or larger.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning
A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when severe thunderstorms are occurring
or imminent in the warning area.
Severe thunderstorms are defined as follows:
Winds of 58 mph or higher and/or Hail 3/4 of an inch in diameter or larger.
Thunderstorm Saftey Tips
What you can do before a storm strikes...
- Know the county you live in and the names of the major nearby cities or towns. Severe weather warnings and statements are issued by county and reference major cities.
- Check the latest weather forecast and hazardous weather outlook.
- Watch for signs of an approaching thunderstorm.
- If a storm is approaching, keep a NWR and/or AM/FM radio with you.
- Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent. This is your best way to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation.
If you are outdoors:
- Attempt to get into a building or a hardtop car and keep the windows closed.
- If no structure is available, as quickly as possible go to an open space and squat low to the ground. If in the woods, find an area protected by a low clump of trees; never stand beneath a singer large tree in the open. Be aware of the potential for flooding in low-lying areas.
- Kneel or crouch with hands on knees.
- Avoid tall structures, such as towers, tall trees, fences, telephone lines, or power lines.
- Stay away from natural lightning rods, such as golf clubs, tractors, fishing rods, bicycles, or camping equipment.
- Stay away from rivers, lakes or other bodies of water.
- If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately.
- If you are isolated in a level field and feel your hair stand on end, which indicates that lightning is about to strike, drop your your knees and bend forward, putting your hands on your knees. Do not lie flat on the ground.
If you are in a vehicle:
- Pull safely onto the shoulder of the road, away from any trees that could fall on the vehicle.
- If flash flooding is possible, go to higher ground.
- Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rains subside. If flash flooding is possible, abandon the vehicle and climb to higher ground.
If you are indoors:
- Secure outdoor objects, such as lawn furniture, that could blow away or cause damage or injury.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest storm information.
- Do not handle any electrical equipment or telephones, because lightning could follow the wire. Television sets are particularly dangerous at this time. Use telephones ONLY in an emergency.
- Do not take a bath or shower. Metal pipes can transmit electricity.
- Turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressors.