4.26.14 Severe Weather Awareness

Published 04/27 2014 05:14PM

Updated 04/27 2014 05:25PM

This week marks Severe Weather Awareness week in New England and in New York. This is the time to brush up on the hazards of severe weather, and how you can prepare for it. In our area, severe weather is most common between the months of May and September.

First of all, it's important to know what a Severe Thunderstorm is. Any storm that contains winds over 58 MPH, hail over 1" in diameter (quarter size), or contains a tornado is classified as severe. When these storms move through, the safest place to be is inside away from windows.

When severe weather is expected, a severe thunderstorm or a tornado watch will be issued by the National Weather Service. A watch means that you should stay alert, since severe weather is possible. When a warning is issued, severe weather is already occurring. That means you need to take action immediately by getting to a safe location. Of course we air those alerts on TV, and deliver them to your inbox, but if you're away from a computer or television you still need to be notified. That's why each home should have a NOAA weather radio that will be triggered for alerts in your area.

Flash flooding is often the most hazardous aspect of severe weather. Just two feet of water can sweep away a car, underscoring why you should never drive through flooded roads. Lightning, of course, is also a serious threat. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.

Stay tuned for more severe weather tips throughout the week.

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