Severe Weather Preparedness Week 2013
Day 1 - Monday February 4, 2013
Today is the first day of Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Mississippi.
The purpose of this week is to encourage everyone to exercise their preparedness
plans and be aware of the weather dangers we face in Mississippi.
Through the week we will focus on different types of severe weather and provide
safety rules people can use to protect their lives and property. Now is the time
to develop and practice your safety plan, not when severe weather is about to strike.
Today we will discuss severe thunderstorms.
Thunderstorms can produce cloud to ground lightning, large
hail, tornadoes, and flash flooding. All thunderstorms can cause
damage, but the national weather service reserves the term
severe thunderstorm for those that produce wind gusts 58 mph or
greater and or hail 1 inch or larger in diameter.
Straight line damaging winds are common across Mississippi any time
of year, but especially during the spring and summer months. These
storms can knock down trees and cause damage to structures. In mid
June 2012, a large complex of thunderstorms moved across the state
from the northwest. This complex of storms brought widespread tree and
power line damage with 60 to 70 mph wind gusts. Some pockets of significant
winds and damage occurred in the Mississippi Delta, where winds likely
gusted around 80 mph. Another straight line wind event occurred in mid
October 2012, when 80 to 90 mph wind gusts went through Greenville, knocking
down trees and causing building damage.
Large hail can damage crops and property. In 2005 a hail storm in
Yazoo county produced tennis-ball size hail. This hail was also wind
driven and did a significant amount of property damage to houses. In
several cases the hail penetrated the siding of houses or took the
paint off. Click HERE for more details on this event.
When severe thunderstorms are anticipated, a severe thunderstorm watch
is issued. A watch means that conditions are favorable for severe
thunderstorms to occur. When a severe thunderstorm has developed, severe
thunderstorm warning is issued. A warning means that for those in the path
of the storm, severe weather in the form of hail or wind is imminent or occurring.
The National Weather Service encourages you to take severe thunderstorm
watches and warnings seriously. Winds from severe thunderstorms are at times
as strong as some tornadoes.
The best action to take if a severe thunderstorm approaches is to
find shelter in a strong sturdy building that will stand up to strong
winds. stay away from windows. Remember tornadoes can and do form
rapidly from severe thunderstorms. So take the same precautions as
you would if a tornado warning was issued.