Moisture and rapidly rising air create the perfect climate for thunderstorms, so it’s no wonder that these are more prevalent in the summer months and in humid areas of the United States. With the summer months just on the horizon and the weather heating up, here in Jersey, it’s time to get prepared for thunderstorms: what you need to know.
4 Different Types of Thunderstorms
There are four different types of thunderstorms that are determined by their severity and length.
1. Single Cell Storms
These storms seem to end as quickly as they begin. They can create hail and heavy rainfall but all in all, are rather mild.
2. Multi Cell Cluster Storms
Multi cell storms are common and feature updrafts that form along the leading edge of rain-cooled air. Often brief tornadoes, hail, and strong winds accompany these storms
3. Squall Lines
A squall is a group of storms arranged in a line. These storms pass quickly and are less likely to produce tornadoes, but can be between ten miles long and a hundred miles long
4. Super Cells
A super cell is a storm that lasts at least an hour and is characterized by an updraft (a rising current of air) that is tilted and rotating. A tornado is typically formed from a storm like this.
Often with thunder comes lightning, which is the leading cause of injury and death from weather-related hazards. “In the US, between 9% and 10% of those struck by lightning die, which means an average of 40 to 50 deaths per year,” according to research done by Texas Tech University. The danger of thunderstorms doesn’t just stop there, however. These storms can create powerful winds, hail, flash flooding, and tornadoes. It’s important to stay vigilant, to pay close attention to weather patterns, and to make sure you have everything you need to be prepared when next storm strikes.
What to Do In a Thunderstorm
Before the Storm
Check the weather channel so that you know your forecast ahead of time. Severe weather warnings are county-based, so know the county that you live in and surrounding cities. Next, watch for signs , darkening, large, billowy clouds, drop in temperature or pressure.
During the Storm
Firstly, remain calm. Find shelter in a sturdy building or car and avoid boats or bodies of water. Unplug your appliances, turn off your air conditioning, and do not take a shower or bath. If you’re in a car, do not attempt to drive. In 2018, 66 people died in flooding in the US and more than 50 of those deaths took place in an automobile.
If you’d caught outside in the middle of a storm and no shelter is available, find a place away from trees, poles, and fences because these items conduct electricity or could easily fall. If your hair starts to stand on end or tingle, make yourself the smallest possible target and crouch low to the ground, taking care to minimize your contact with the earth beneath you.
After the Storm
After the storm, avoid any fallen telephone poles or wires and check in with neighbors or family members who may have needed assistance in the storm.
Sometimes severe weather comes when you least expect it, but by knowing the signs, the cause, and planning ways to stay prepared for a thunderstorm, you can make sure you and your family remain safe. You can’t catch everything and when things fall through the cracks, make sure you’re protected with I & E Insurance’s Home Insurance!