Severe Weather Awareness: Thunderstorms

Published 04/30 2014 10:26AM

Updated 04/30 2014 10:50AM

Thunderstorms light up the sky with beautiful arrays of electric bolts, impressive clouds, but also deadly weather conditions. While one can truly be humbled by the power of thunderstorms, there are certain things you should know about them.

First thing is first, be on alert. Stay up to date with your local meteorologist, the National Weather Service, or another source of weather information with regard to thunderstorms. Opposed to snow storms where we see them coming days in advance, individual thunderstorms and tornadoes are much tougher to predict when and where they'll hit, plus where they'll go next.

You can read more about what classifies a severe thunderstorm here in Michael Page's blog.

You can also read more about the difference between a WATCH and a WARNING in Kerrin Jeromin's blog.

Northern New England does not get tornadoes often. In fact Vermont averages one tornado each year. When tornadoes touch down in this area, they're on the weaker side with winds of about 100 miles per hour or less. However don't let your guard down to any twister or severe thunderstorm, because it only takes half that wind speed to bring down trees and cause projectiles to be thrown around.

The North Country averages 20-30 thunderstorms each year, with about 8-10 of those days being "severe weather days." When a severe weather alert is issued for your area, particularly a warning, seek shelter in the lowest level of a building, away from windows, or in a designated shelter. If outside find a low-lying area and crouch down, protect your head, but don't lay down. If out on the water, come to land immediately and as quickly as possible. Have a severe weather plan for your family of what you'll do in case a warning is issued for your area, plus get a kit ready with a battery operated NOAA weather radio, flashlights, water, phone, etc. You can read more about severe weather week, including thunderstorms, here.

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