Monday, February 20, 2006

Severe Weather Awareness Week - Day 1 - Severe Thunderstorms - WU

**This post was archived from the MemphisWx WunderBlog.**
Here is the unedited (except for punctuation and capitalization) Public Informtion Statement from WFO MEG.

...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 three quarter inch in diameter...or larger...and or strong wind gusts of 58 mph or greater. Hail that is three quarters of an inch in diameter is about the size of a penny.

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...or weather radio 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.

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