Severe Weather Awareness Week 2012: Severe Thunderstorms

…SEVERE THUNDERSTORM AWARENESS DAY…

THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY TWO THOUSAND THUNDERSTORMS IN PROGRESS AROUND THE WORLD AT ANY GIVEN TIME. MOST OF THESE STORMS ARE BENEFICIAL AND BRING NEEDED RAIN. ONLY A SMALL FRACTION… LESS THAN ONE PERCENT… ARE CLASSIFIED AS SEVERE. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE THOSE THUNDERSTORMS THAT PRODUCE HAIL ONE INCH IN DIAMETER OR LARGER AND/OR STRONG WIND GUSTS OF 58 MPH OR GREATER. HAIL THAT IS ONE INCH IN DIAMETER IS ABOUT THE SIZE OF A QUARTER.

A SMALL FRACTION OF THESE THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCE TORNADOES. ALL THUNDERSTORMS ARE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DEADLY LIGHTNING. THE HEAVY RAINS OR THE LIGHTNING ACTIVITY IN A THUNDERSTORM DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH A THUNDERSTORM BEING CLASSIFIED AS SEVERE.

SOME OF THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS SAFETY RULES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

  • FIND SHELTER IMMEDIATELY. GO TO A STURDY BUILDING THAT WILL WITHSTAND HIGH WINDS.
  • AVOID ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES AND TELEPHONES.
  • IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO BRING YOUR CAR INSIDE A GARAGE AND TO SECURE LOOSE OBJECTS.

REMEMBER… A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING MEANS THAT A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM IS OCCURRING. THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM HAS BEEN DETECTED BY THE DOPPLER RADAR OR REPORTED TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BY OUR SKYWARN SPOTTER NETWORK OR THE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IN A PARTICULAR COUNTY.

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS ARE RIGHT FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS TO DEVELOP BUT NONE HAS BEEN OBSERVED. FOLKS SHOULD KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY AND LISTEN TO COMMERCIAL BROADCASTS OR WEATHER RADIO FOR ANY SUBSEQUENT WARNINGS.

WHEN A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING IS ISSUED FOR YOUR LOCATION…. TREAT IT THE SAME AS YOU WOULD A TORNADO WARNING. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN PRODUCE DAMAGING WINDS… LARGE HAIL AND DEADLY LIGHTNING.

Annual frequency of lightning globally in flashes per square kilometer. 

MemphisWeather.net’s “Storm Center” is your one-stop shop for severe weather information.  The Storm Center includes Mid-South radar, a clickable watch/warning map that updates as new alerts are issued by the NWS, recent storm reports, maps outlining severe risk areas from the severe weather experts at the Storm Prediction Center, and severe weather safety tips. If you are looking for information on severe weather in the Mid-South, the MWN Storm Center is the place to start!

Also, don’t forget about our newest severe weather alerting tool that capitalizes on the convenience of mobile app technology! StormWatch+ will alert you if you are in the path of the storm via mobile phone, even if you are asleep.  StormWatch+ is available within the MWN mobile app for Android and iPhone. Learn more or download the app by visiting StormWatchPlus.com on your computer or mobile device.

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For weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit MemphisWeather.net on the web, m.memphisweather.net on your mobile phone, download our iPhone or Android apps, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

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