Expect strong thunderstorms in northeast Alabama early Monday evening
The National Weather Service issued an updated weather alert Monday at 4:26 PM for strong thunderstorms through 5:15 PM in Marshall, Jackson and DeKalb counties.
Residents may experience wind gusts up to 50 mph.
“At 4:24 p.m., Doppler radar tracked strong thunderstorms along a line extending from near Estill Springs to Huntland to 6 miles to Scottsboro near Boise. Movement was east at 40 mph,” according to the weather service. “Gusty winds can knock down tree limbs and blow around unsafe objects.”
The warning is for Albertville, Scottsboro, Fort Payne, Boise, Winchester, Rainsville, Bridgeport, Decherd, Henagar and Estill Springs.
The weather service states, “If you are outdoors, consider seeking shelter indoors. Heavy rain also occurs with these storms and may lead to localized flooding. Do not drive across flooded roadways.”
Protecting yourself from being close to lightning: expert safety guidelines
Every year, lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times, and the majority of these dramatic events occur during the summer months. Unfortunately, lightning is responsible for claiming the lives of approximately 20 people a year, according to the weather service. The danger of lightning becomes more pronounced as thunderstorms approach, peaks when the storm is directly overhead, and then gradually diminishes as it moves away.
To ensure your safety during thunderstorms, consider the following recommendations:
1. Lightning safety plan:
- When going outdoors, it’s essential to have a lightning safety plan.
- Be vigilant by monitoring the sky for ominous signs and listening for the sound of thunder. If thunder is audible, this is a clear indication that there is lightning nearby.
- Seek shelter immediately in a safe place, preferably indoors.
2. Safety measures inside:
- Once you find shelter indoors, refrain from using corded phones, electrical appliances, or plumbing fixtures, and refrain from going near windows and doors.
- Lightning can follow conductive paths, and these precautions reduce the risk of electrical surges.
3. Wait for it to clear:
- After the last lightning strike or thunderclap, wait at least 30 minutes before resuming outdoor activities.
- It’s important to remember that lightning can strike even when the storm appears to have passed, so be careful.
When indoor shelter is not available:
If you find yourself outside without access to indoor shelter during a thunderstorm, follow these steps for maximum safety:
- Avoid open fields, hilltops or hilltops, as they put you at greater risk of lightning.
- Stay away from tall, isolated trees and other prominent objects. In forested areas, stay close to low trees.
- If you are with a group, make sure people are spread out to prevent the lightning stream from being transmitted between people.
- It is highly not recommended to camp outdoors during a thunderstorm. If you have no alternative, set up camp in a ravine, ravine, or other low-lying area. It is important to note that the tent does not provide any protection against lightning.
- Do not approach bodies of water, wet objects, or metal items. Although water and metals do not attract lightning, they conduct electricity effectively and can pose significant hazards.
In short, when faced with a lightning threat, preparedness and vigilance are your best allies. By following these guidelines, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of lightning-related incidents and prioritize your safety.
Rainy roads ahead: essential safety tips for heavy rain
When heavy rains fall, the risk of flooding and treacherous roads increases. Here’s your guide from the weather service to staying safe during rain:
Beware of swollen waterways:
- Avoid parking or walking near sewers or drainage ditches, as fast-moving water during heavy rain can carry you away.
Maintain safe driving distances:
- Use the two-second rule to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you and allow an extra two seconds in heavy rain.
Slow down and drive carefully:
- If it rains and the roads are wet, slow down. Lift your foot off the accelerator and let your speed gradually decrease. Never apply the brakes suddenly as this may cause the vehicle to skid.
Choose your path wisely:
- Stay toward the middle aisles – water tends to pool in the outer aisles.
The importance of vision:
- Turn your headlights on and be aware of other vehicles behind you and in blind spots as they are especially difficult to see through rain-splashed windows.
Beware of slippery roads:
- The first half hour of rain is when the roads are smoothest due to a combination of rain, dirt and oil. Use extreme caution during this period.
Keep a safe distance from large vehicles:
- Do not follow large trucks or buses too closely. The spray generated by their large tires reduces your visibility. Be careful when passing them too; If you must pass, do so quickly and safely.
Take care of the windshield wipers in your car:
- Heavy rain may overload the wiper blades. When visibility is so limited that road edges or other vehicles cannot be seen at a safe distance, it is time to stop and wait for the rain to subside. It is best to stop at rest areas or other protected areas.
- When stopping on the side of the road is your only option, park your vehicle as far off the road as possible, preferably behind guardrails. Keep your headlights on and activate your emergency lights to alert other drivers of your location.
In the face of heavy rain, these precautions can make a big difference in ensuring your safety on the road. Remember to stay informed of the weather conditions and listen to local authorities’ advice for a safe trip.
Advanced Local Weather Alerts is a service provided by United Robots, which uses machine learning to collect the latest data from the National Weather Service.