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Georgia Severe Weather Preparedness Week
Thunderstorms are a common occurrence in Georgia, especially during the spring and summer months. Thunderstorms can produce gusty winds, hail and even tornadoes, but in particular a severe thunderstorm can produce hail of 1” or larger (size of a quarter) and/or 58 mph (50 knots) winds or greater. Notice that lightning is not in the criteria for a severe thunderstorm warning. Typically, a severe thunderstorm lasts about 30 minutes and occurs in the afternoon and evening hours. However, severe weather is possible any time of the day and any time of the year. Supercells, a special class of thunderstorms, are particularly violent and can last for several hours. Tornadoes are often produced from these supercell thunderstorms. This type of thunderstorm is most common in the spring.
Damaging wind is the most common type of severe weather across north and central Georgia. These events can occur any time of the year, but peak in July when downbursts from pulse thunderstorms are common. Based on data from 1950-2010, 18 fatalities and 325 injuries were caused by damaging wind across north and central Georgia. Similar to damaging wind events, hail can occur in any month across north and central Georgia, however, hail events peak in May. April comes in a close second for hail events. Although most hail is between 1” and 2” in diameter in Georgia, 4.5” (softball sized) hail has been recorded across north Georgia four times. Check Out this Video on Thunderstorms Safety
How can you protect yourself and your family from severe thunderstorms?