Lightning Saftey

This week is Lightning Safety Awareness Week, which began yesterday and last through Saturday. Lightning Safety Week reminds us of the dangers of lightning that we often set aside. The summer is peak season for lightning, when we often get scattered thunderstorms. Lightning is one of the nation’s most deadliest weather phenomena, “known as the underrated killer.” We often take lightning’s danger for granted by ignoring its presence. I often see people mowing their lawn, playing outdoor sports, and even fishing while lightning is nearby. Thunder is the rapid heating and cooling of air by the immense heat of the lightning bolt. When you hear thunder, you should take shelter immediately. In fact, lightning can actually strike up to 10 miles away from the thunderstorm that produced it. Don’t take a chance, when you hear thunder, get inside! Also, a good way to tell if a thunderstorm is approaching you is to count the seconds between seeing a lightning bolt and hearing its thunder. Thunder travels 1 mile every 5 seconds. So, if the amount of seconds gets shorter with each bolt and the thunder, then you know the storm is approaching. Also, you should remain indoors until 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder. Be sure to keep these safety tips in mind the next time you head outdoors. We will be sharing more lightning safety tips and stories, in the days ahead.

(Img Source: NOAA/Harold Edens-2003)

WVUA Weather:
Richard Scott

Monday Afternoon Forecast Discussion Update

You don’t have to step outside to know its summer in Alabama. Simply look out the window and the clouds will tell the story. Today we’ve had dark clouds scattered about the area and scattered thundershowers. Some neighborhoods are getting a good soaking. In fact, this afternoon we watched one storm produce rain for at-least 45 minutes between Ralph and Fosters. The scattered shower and thunderstorm activity is being driven by daytime heating, and with weak upper air support, they are moving very slowly and pulsing-up in various locations. The spotty showers and thunderstorms will continue into the evening hours and then start dissipating late tonight. Lows will be near 70-degrees due to an increased amount of moisture in the area. As we first mentioned last week, some tropical moisture has moved into parts of Louisiana and Texas. This is where the organized-heavy downpours have occurred today.

Things won’t change much around here over the next few days. High pressure will become centered near Raleigh, NC by Wednesday morning. We will have dry starts to each day, with morning sunshine giving way to considerable afternoon cloudiness. Scattered thunderstorms and showers will start popping up around lunchtime, with highs in the lower 90s. During the Wednesday morning timeframe, we will also have a cold front stretched from about Denver, CO to just north of Chicago, IL. This front will eventually press into our state late in the week. This feature will help spark a passing shower or thunderstorm on Friday and Saturday. I think the data may be over exaggerating the outlook for rain on Saturday, but given the fact there will be plenty of moisture out ahead of the front, we could have some heavy downpours in many spots. I took a glance to the north and it sure looks like this front is going to bring a shot of much cooler air to the northeast. I know we always feel lucky when we see the lake effect snow machine in the winter time. However, this is the time of year where folks in the northeast can enjoy some picture perfect conditions. I noticed the forecast for Rogersville, NY called for highs in the 70s for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. So, if you get tired of the humidity, set a course for upstate New York.

Have a great afternoon and be sure to tune in tonight for the full details on our local weather forecast!

Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist WVUA-TV