TN Severe Weather Awareness Week: Severe Thunderstorms

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF) – The National Weather Service (NWS) has declared this week as “Severe Weather Awareness Week”. Monday’s focus is on severe thunderstorms.

A thunderstorm is classified as severe if it produces hail with at least a 1 inch diameter, or if it produces wind gusts of at least 58 mph.

Since 1950, there have been 149 confirmed hail reports in Hamilton county. 66 of those reports were at least 1 inch in diameter.

Severe weather watches and warnings are often issued during times of severe weather. A severe thunderstorm watch means that conditions are favorable for the development of severe weather; stay weather aware. A severe thunderstorm warning means that severe weather is occurring; seek shelter immediately.

Every thunderstorm produces lightning; lightning does not make a storm severe, but lightning does make a storm dangerous (more on lightning on Tuesday). Another threat from storms is flash flooding from heavy rain during storms (more on flash flooding on Thursday).

With many dangerous aspects to storms, the NWS recommends the slogan, “When thunder roars, go indoors!” as it is not safe to be outside during storms – severe or not. If you can hear thunder, you are in danger of lightning.

Head indoors during storms. The NWS also recommends to stay away from windows, to not lean against concrete walls, and to avoid electrical equipment and plumbing.

If you are unable to reach a safe building, the NWS says to avoid high ground, water, tall isolated trees, and metal objects such as bleachers.

While severe weather can occur anytime of year, spring – March, April, and May – are the most active time for severe weather.

Categories: Regional News, Weather News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *