Every thunderstorm produces lightning, sometimes creating quite a show and sometimes not. Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. Warm, humid conditions typically produce thunderstorms that last a brief period, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Severe Thunderstorm - One that produces hail at least three-quarters of an inch in diameter, has winds 58 miles per hour or higher, or produces a tornado.
Preparing for Area Thunderstorm
- Postpone outdoor activity
- Secure outside objects
- Get inside
- Unplug appliances and other electrical devices such as televisions and computers. Turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
- Avoid showering or bathing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
- Avoid anything metal--tractors, golf carts, motorcycles
If Caught in Storm
On Open Water - Get to land immediately and find shelter.
In The Woods - Shelter in low area under thick growth of small trees.
In An Open Area - Be alert for flash floods. Go to a low ravine or valley.
To Find Out More
FEMA's Thunderstorm & Lightening Guide