Important Storm Facts

Terms to Know

  • Tornado Warning - Issued when a tornado has been sighted or is eminent. Seek safety and move to a safe place immediately.
  • Tornado Watch - Conditions are favorable for a tornado. Listen to your local radio or television station for further details. Be prepared to move to a safe place.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning - issued when trained spotters or a doppler capable weather radar indicate a strong thunderstorm is producing dangerously large hail or high winds, capable of causing significant damage. It does not account for lightning or flooding.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Severe thunderstorms are likely to occur. Watch the sky and stay tuned to know when warnings are issued.

Lightning Safety Tips

  • "If you can see it (lightning), flee it."
  • "If you can hear it (thunder), clear it."

Lightning Facts

  • Seventy percent of all lightning strikes occur in the mid-afternoon hours.
  • A natural instinct is to take shelter under a tree, which is the worst thing you can do. Of all lightening strikes, 25 percent of all people killed are standing under a tree when they get hit. This is because the positive charges on the ground shoot up to meet negative charges in the thundercloud. They take the quickest route up, which is usually a tree.
  • About 100 people are killed every year in the United States by lightning.
  • Getting struck by lightning can pack a punch. A bolt can contain up to 100,000 volts of electricity.

For even more weather safety information, please check out the NOAA severe weather page.