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Severe Weather Information

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Severe Weather Information



Be prepared - lightning, flooding, large hail and severe wind gusts can turn a fun afternoon into a dangerous situation. If unprepared, a fast approaching storm can become deadly. It is always important that you and your family understand what to do if a storm approaches.

Knowing the answers to the following questions will help you stay safe:

  • What county and city are you visiting?
  • Where will you go if threatening weather is approaching?
  • How will you find out if a storm is moving toward your area?
  • How will you receive warnings and forecasts before the storm strikes?


Weather Watch:

A watch issued when conditions become favorable for severe weather; it does not necessarily mean it is going to happen. Watch the sky and stay tuned for later forecasts and possible warnings.

Weather Warning:

A warning is issued when severe weather is occurring or is imminent. Now is the time to take action.



Lightning occurs with all thunderstorms. People who are outdoors, especially near tall trees, in or on water, or on or near hilltops are most at risk.

When a storm approaches:

  • Move to a sturdy building or car.
  • Do not take shelter in small sheds, under isolated trees, or in convertible automobiles.
  • Get out of boats and away from water.

If caught outdoors and no shelter is available:

  • Find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles.
  • If in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.

Flash Floods

Heavy rain can quickly turn small streams into raging rivers. Most flash flooding is caused by slower moving thunderstorms, or storms repeatedly moving over the same area.

It is important that you identify an area safe from flooding. Avoid camping or parking along streams, particularly during threatening conditions.

If a flooding is occurring or a warning is issued:

  • Go to higher ground, but beware of lightning.
  • DO NOT attempt to cross flowing streams.
  • NEVER drive through flooded roadways.
  • Be very cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • Monitor NOAA Weather radio or the local Emergency Alert System station for the latest information.

Thunderstorm winds and Tornadoes

Thunderstorms can also produce strong winds and tornadoes. Winds in excess of 50 mph can topple trees and overturn tents and campers. Tornadoes can have winds over 100 mph, which create a narrow but deadly path of destruction.

When a severe storm approaches or a warning is issued:

  • Campers and mobile homes offer little protection from tornadoes and severe winds. They should be abandoned.
  • Move to a pre-designated shelter. Go to the lowest floor and stay away from windows.
  • If caught outside and a tornado is approaching, lie flat in a nearby ditch.
  • Monitor NOAA Weather radio or the local Emergency Alert System station for the latest information.


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