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Summer Thunderstorms

Posted on 22. Jun, 2011 by in World of Wonder, WOW! Blog

Summertime brings hot days and afternoons often bring a chance of thunderstorms here in the Southeastern United States. In fact, we depend on these thunderstorms for most of the rainfall in the summer here in North Carolina. If you are watching TV as a storm approaches you will get a warning from the local meteorologists and you might also have a weather radio that will give you a warning. But, you can also learn to recognize the signs of approaching storms by looking to the sky. Before the development of weather radar and satellites, observations of clouds and barometric readings were the usual way of predicting weather. It’s still useful to know how to recognize storm clouds. The cumulus cloud is the usual thundercloud. These clouds develop when humid air begins to rise into the atmosphere, the moisture in the air condenses and forms a cloud. If the top of the cloud rises to the point where the temperature is below freezing then precipitation is possible. If a cloud starts as a cumulus cloud and conditions are right it may develop into a cumulonimbus cloud which is our usual summertime thunderstorm. Learn to recognize this cloud.

 

Here are some suggestions for staying safe when a thunderstorm hits.

 

What to do during a thunderstorm: 

Indoors:

Stay off the phone

Stay away from windows

Use flashlights if the power goes out

Discontinue use of phones and electrical equipment. You may also want to unplug appliances and computers.

Avoid taking a shower or bath. If lightning strikes your house it may send a current of electricity across metal plumbing throughout the house.

While driving:

Reduce your speed

Pull off to the shoulder of the road. Be sure you’re away from tall objects, such as trees, which could fall due to wind or lightning and do not clog highway underpasses.

Turn on your emergency flashers

Remain in the car until the storm passes

Do not touch any metal objects in the car

Avoid driving on roads covered by water

Outdoors:

Stay low

If possible, find shelter in a building

Keep away from trees, tall objects, metal objects and water

Boaters and swimmer should get to land as a soon as possible

If you’re in a group caught outside, spread out.

If you begin to feel your hair stand on end, this indicates lightning is about to strike. You should drop to your knees and bend forward placing your hands on your knees and crouch down. Do not lie flat on the ground, this will only make you a larger target.

 

 

To learn more about clouds, weather and seasons check out some of the websites below.

Some ideas about activities relating to cloudy weather

A cloud chart for forecasting weather

A great website for children to learn about weather.

Poems about weather, clouds

Judy Collins singing the Joni Mitchell song “Both sides now”- I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now . . .

 

 

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