Thunderstorms do not occur every day in Kansas and Missouri but the frequency of them occurring during spring and summer months grow quite a bit. In fact, NOAA reports that over 16 million thunderstorm occur each year worldwide and at any given time 2,000 thunderstorms occur. They are most likely to happen during the afternoon or evening hours.
- Thunderstorms produce heavy rain, high winds and lightening! Lightning strikes causes tree and property damage. Lightning may kill you. The heavy rains produced by thunderstorms must go somewhere. You want the rain to flow off the roof into the gutters and out away from the foundation through downspouts and extension tubes to about 3-6’ away. This helps to prevent ugly and costly foundation cracking. High winds can cause roofing shingles to lift, fall off the roof or tear. If you get a new roof at your current home or another property it is well worth a few extra thousand to pay for premium materials installed by certified roofing professionals.
- Severe thunderstorms contain either hail 1” or larger, wind gusts 57.5 mph of greater, or a tornado. It is important to know that some roof materials can damage with hail as small as 1”. If your roof starts to leak after a severe storm you may want to talk with your homeowners’ insurance company. Softball size hail damages cars, windows and kills livestock.
- While thunderstorms are more common, severe thunderstorms happen only 10% of the time. So when severe weather strikes be prepared with commonly needed items like a cellphone charging battery pack, generator, flashlights, batteries, candles, board games and the number of your favorite local delivery restaurant. During power outages your garage door opener will not operate if you lose power.
- Thunderstorms can cause flash flooding in low areas. No matter how safe a road may appear, it if it has water across it don’t cross. If water is flowing across the road there is a good chance that the road supporting materials have washed away leaving the intact surface as a mirage.
- Lightning causes fires, can strike people and buildings and is very dangerous. If you are in a body of water and you see lightning, get out of the water. If the water is struck the electricity can electrocute you. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
- Straight-line winds up to 120 mph and greater knock down trees, power lines and mobile homes. Tornadoes with wind gusts around 300 mph destroy homes. How do you know you’re experiencing straight-line winds, the rain is blowing straight horizontal. Any trees on the property close to the home or looming over the house could fall on the house. You may want to get in a low area or basement to ensure a tree wont crash on you. Large branches overhanging the roof have a chance of falling too. Keep your trees healthy with regular pruning to reduce the chances of them loosing limbs during storms.
- While a Severe Thunderstorm WATCH is a warning that meteorologists are watching for weather conditions that are favorable for severe thunderstorms, the Severe Thunderstorm WATCH encourages the public to WATCH and PREPARE for severe weather. The Severe Thunderstorm WARNING informs the public that severe weather has been spotted and a serious threat to life and property exist to those in the path of the storm. ACT now to find shelter!
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