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Severe Weather Awareness: Lightning & Flooding

Posted at 5:00 PM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-14 18:46:50-04

Thunderstorms are a beautiful and common part of weather.  However, they are also dangerous and should be taken serious whether they are severe or not. 

For a storm to be considered a thunderstorm it must produce lightning.

Lighting can make any storm dangerous, however, it doesn't necessarily make it severe. For a storm to be considered 'severe', there has to be at least one storm to be severe you need 1 inch diameter hail, 58+mph winds or a tornado.

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Each year we have more than 100,000 thunderstorms nationwide. Only 10% of those become severe which shows we need to pay attention to general storms as well, not just severe storms. So whether the storms is severe or not doesn't really matter! If lightning is produce you need to seek shelter. While there are many forms of lightning cloud to ground lightning being the most dangerous. Lightning can strike 10 miles from the storm and is responsible for many fires and deaths per year.

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Thunderstorms can also produce very heavy rain that can lead to flooding. In fact, flooding kills more people per year in the united states than lightning and tornadoes combined.

Flash flooding is the most common and the most dangerous in thunderstorms because it happens so quick. However, flooding can also occur in non-thunderstorms, from snow melt and excessive rain over a period of time. River flooding often becomes an issue in the days and sometimes weeks after a storm.

While flooded roads may not look too dangerous you should never attempt to drive through a flooded roadway or walk into rushing water. One foot of water can float a car, two feet of rushing water can carry away most large vehicles and just 6 inches of water will sweep you off your feet.

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While weather can be fascinating and it's one of the reasons I love it! You have to respect it as well. Conditions can change very quickly and it doesn't even have to be a severe storm. When dealing with lightning any time you see it or hear thunder you must go indoors or into a car. With flooding turn around and don't drown.