A thunderstorm warning has been issued for Maricopa County
The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Maricopa County beginning at 3:20 PM on September 12. The warning ends at 4pm on September 12. Pinal County is also included in the warning.
A severe thunderstorm occurred over Chandler, moving northeast at 35 mph, with wind gusts of 60 mph and quarter-sized hailstones, the weather service said.
For the latest watches and warnings, see our weather alerts page.
Tips for driving in the rain
The Arizona Department of Transportation has provided the following safety tips for driving in the rain:
- Inspect windshield wipers and replace them if necessary before expected rain.
- Turn on the headlights.
- Reducing speeds.
- Avoid sudden breakage on wet pavement.
- Create a “space cushion” between your car and the vehicle in front of you.
- Avoid areas where water has accumulated in travel lanes.
How to protect yourself from lightning strikes
Here are lightning safety tips from the National Weather Service:
- Pay attention to the weather. If you see large blue clouds, known as thunderstorms, go inside. These types of clouds may mean that a thunderstorm is coming.
- Enter a building with plumbing and wires. If lightning strikes a building, the lightning will be transmitted around and into the ground.
- Stay in your car. The car will give you protection because the electricity generated by the lightning will pass through the body of the car instead of striking you.
- Descent from open water. A boat in the water is likely to be the most prominent object and you could hit it.
- Do not bathe or shower. If lightning strikes your pipes, it can travel into the water in your bath or shower.
- Do not use electrical appliances with plugs or cords. Wireless cell phones are fine, as are laptops that are connected to but not connected to Wi-Fi.
- Follow the 30-30 rule. If you hear thunder within 30 seconds of a lightning strike, it means a thunderstorm is at risk. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder. This gives the storm enough time to move away or dissipate.
- You don’t have to be near a storm to hit. Lightning strikes can easily travel 10 miles or more. A record lightning flash in Oklahoma in 2007 traveled nearly 200 miles. Seek shelter if you hear thunder.
- Do not take shelter under a tree. If lightning strikes the tree, the ground charge from the strike may be transferred into you.
- Do not gather in a group. If you’re out with friends or family during a thunderstorm, don’t all crowd together. Maintaining separation can reduce the number of people injured in the event of a lightning strike.
This article was created by the Arizona Republic and the USA TODAY Network using data from the National Weather Service. Edited by a staff member.