Severe weather has always been a part of the Iowa experience. It can be very dangerous to live in tornado Alley.
The way you receive watches and warnings has changed dramatically. We have so many ways to keep you informed through your cell phones, computers, TVs, radio and all-hazard weather radios.
They are called all-hazards radios because other emergency situations are sent via the airwaves. It might be a chemical spill or power outage or even amber alerts.
The real gift of the radio is that it can be set for your address and will only go off when your area is affected by a natural or man-made emergency. You can keep it in your bedroom to wake you to the hazard. That's what we do in the Wilson house.
Severe Thunderstorms...a few questions and answers.
What makes a storm severe?
A) A thunderstorm is considered severe if the wind in the storm is at least 58 MPH and the hail is at least 1 inch in diameter.
What is the difference between a watch and a warning?
A) A watch is issued when severe weather is expected. You need to Watch the sky for severe weather. A warning is issued when severe weather is happening.
How many people are killed each year from lightning strikes?
A) On the average 55 to 60 people are killed each year by lightning in the U.S.
How hot is lightning?
A) Lightning heats the air to over 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stay safe this severe weather season.