Unit 5: Severe Weather

Posted by KCRG-TV9 First Alert Weather on Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Flooding: Too much water in areas that can’t handle that much water. It is the #1 killer of severe weather. Never drive or walk through flooded waters, turn around, don’t drown! Flash flooding can happen very quickly. 6 inches of water can knock a person over, 2 feet of water can push a vehicle away.

Lightning: When thunder roars, head indoors. If you can hear thunder, then the storm is close enough to have a lightning strike in your area. Seek shelter inside immediately after hearing thunder. Lightning is around 50,000 degrees and can strike within 25 miles of a storm. A good rule to follow is to wait at least 30 minutes after a storm before resuming activities.

Hail formation: Water droplets form and as they move up in the cloud they freeze and move upward by the updraft of a storm. As the droplet goes around and around in the storm, it then forms layers. Once the weight of the hailstone outweighs the force of the updraft, the hailstone will fall to the ground.

Tornado: A violently rotating column of air that has low pressure in the middle. Surface winds and stronger upper-level winds will from that rotating column of air. Updrafts from a thunderstorm will then allow that air to rise and eventually will rotate the column vertically inside the clouds. Once there’s enough downdraft to force that column downward and it reaches the surface, then it is classified as a tornado. If it doesn’t touch the ground, then it is a funnel cloud.

Watch Vs. Warning:

  • Watch: Be prepared! This is when conditions are favorable for severe weather or tornadoes to form. Normally these can last around 3-8 hours, depending on how long the storms stick around.
  • Warning: Take action: This is when a severe storm or tornado is spotted or indicated on radar. Warnings are short-term normally less than an hour.

Find Your Safe Place:

  • Have a serve weather plan before storms hit
  • This is the lowest level of the home or building. Put as many walls between you and the outside, which means an interior part of your home. You also want to think small. Stay away from any windows or doors.
  • Get under something sturdy
  • Cover yourself with blanket or pillows. You can also wear a bike helmet to protect your head.
  • Have multiple ways to receive weather alerts. Examples: First Alert Weather App, Weather Radio
  • Curious about how to program a weather radio? Watch here: