Severe Thunderstorms


What is a thunderstorm?

A thunderstorm is a rain storm that produces lightning. Thunderstorms may become more "severe" when wind gusts to at least 58 mph, quarter sized hail, and/or tornadoes are produced.

What are some hazards that result from severe thunderstorms?

•Lightning can be deadly as electrical energy builds up and skirts across the sky, or unpredictably strikes the ground, buildings, vehicles, etc. Thunder often is a result of lightning as the rapid temperature change produces a shockwave

•Strong winds of a thunderstorm can produce damages at the ground level that are similar to a tornado; however, they are often called straight-line winds to differentiate from tornadic damages.

•Hail is light rain droplets that are lifted back into the atmosphere where it meets cold air that freezes it and then becomes heavy enough to fall to the ground. Hail can range from the size of a penny to larger than a golf ball and fall at speeds higher than 100 mph.

•Flooding is the overflowing of water onto normally dry land. Resting flood waters can cause long lasting damages to structures and rushing flood waters can lift vehicles and homes off of their foundations.

For more information:

Please visit NOAA for more thunderstorm information.