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Safety and Preparedness

What to do before (Preparedness):

  • Become familiar with what a Severe Thunderstorm Watch or Warning means.
  • Know the county in which you live and the names of nearby major cities.
  • Have a NOAA Weather Radio available and check the batteries.
  • Have a plan on what to do when a watch or warning is issued for your county or your city is included.
  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Think about how to secure outdoor items and protect property from large hail or strong winds.

 

What to do during (Safety):

  • Move indoors and stay away from windows
  • If caught outdoors, protect yourself from wind and hail in a low area. Stay away from lightning prone areas such as hills, water, and lone tall trees or power poles.
  • If driving, stop and find shelter if possible. Driving during large hail will increase the damage to your car. Hydroplaning and strong winds will make it dangerous to drive.

Threat levels and suggested actions:

green light=no threat
Check forecasts for updates on thunderstorm potential once or twice during the day.
yellow light=limited threta
Monitor the DSP page for updates several times during the day and be aware of the factors limiting storms such as limited moisture, cap or lift. If storms develop, be ready to activate spotters.
red light=elevated threat
Spotter activation is likely. Find out the threat timing window for your area. There may be a webinar or web briefing posted on the DSP.
purple light=significant threat
Spotter activation will be needed. There will be a webinar or briefing available on the web and posted on the DSP.
purple light=critical threat
All spotters and emergency managers will be needed. Pay close attention to all weather updates. There may be several webinars and web briefings during the day for this critical severe thunderstorm period.
Severe Thunderstorm Safety Links

Legend and Definitions


The Severe Thunderstorm threat level is based on the probability of being in a Severe weather Warning in an area.

The probability of a Severe weather Warning in an area is forecast based on :

  • The Probability of Thunderstorms
  • The Probability of a Thunderstorm becoming Severe once it has developed (Conditional Probability)
green light=no threatNil  Probability of Severe Thunderstorms < 5%
Forecast Atmospheric conditions are not conducive for severe thunderstorm development within the forecast area.
yellow light=limited threatLimted Probability of Severe Thunderstorms 5-20%
Forecast Atmospheric conditions are somewhat favorable for severe thunderstorm development within the forecast area.
red light=elevated threatElevated Probability of Severe Thunderstorms 21-40%
Forecast Atmospheric conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorm development within the forecast area.
purple light=significant threatSignificant Probability of Severe Thunderstorms 41-70%
Forecast Atmospheric conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorm development within the forecast area.
black light=critical threatCritical Probability of Severe Thunderstorms is greater then 70%
Severe thunderstorms will develop or move into the area.

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