This is post #2 in a series published for Severe Weather Awareness Week 2010. Today's post focuses on 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... weather radio... or check MemphisWeather.net 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.
MemphisWeather.net provides the latest severe weather information for the Memphis metropolitan area. This includes all watches and warnings, an interactive severe weather map of the Mid-South, and free delivery of severe weather alerts for the metro area via e-mail and Twitter. Find these services under the "Severe" menu on MemphisWeather.net.
Most of this post's content courtesy of the National Weather Service.