Nickel-sized hailstones and thunderstorms are expected in northwest Alabama on Monday
The National Weather Service issued a weather alert Monday at 12:56 PM for strong thunderstorms until 1:30 PM in Lauderdale, Colbert and Franklin counties.
Winds of up to 55 mph and nickel-sized hailstones (0.88 inches) are expected to fall.
“At 12:55 p.m., Doppler radar tracked strong thunderstorms along a line extending from 11 miles southeast of Walnut Grove to 7 miles northeast of Cherokee near Pilgreen. The motion was northeast at 60 mph,” the weather service said. . “Gusty winds can knock down tree limbs and blow around unsecured objects. Minor damage to vegetation is possible.”
The warning is for Florence, Muscle Shoals, Russellville, Sheffield, Tuscumbia, Killeen, Littleville, Lexington, Layton and St. Florian.
According to the weather service, “If you are outdoors, consider seeking shelter inside a building. Frequent cloud lightning occurs with these storms. Lightning can strike up to 10 miles from a thunderstorm. Seek safe shelter inside a building or vehicle.”
Preparing to be close to lightning: Expert safety advice
Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times each year, and the bulk of these electrical discharges occur during the summer months. Sadly, lightning kills about 20 people a year, according to the weather service. The risk of lightning-related accidents increases as thunderstorms approach, reaching their peak when the storm looms directly overhead. However, it gradually subsides as the storm moves away.
To protect yourself during thunderstorms, consider these recommendations:
1. Lightning safety plan:
- When going outdoors, it’s essential to have a lightning safety plan.
- Watch the sky for signs of a threat and listen for the sound of thunder. If thunder is audible, this is an indication that lightning is nearby.
- Find a safe place to take shelter, 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.
- These precautions help reduce the risk of electrical surges, as lightning can follow conductive paths.
3. Wait for it to clear:
- After the last lightning strike or thunderclap, wait at least 30 minutes before resuming outdoor activities.
- Lightning can strike even after the storm has passed, so you need to 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 in a group, make sure people are spaced apart to prevent lightning transmission between people.
- It is highly not recommended to camp outdoors during a thunderstorm. If there is no alternative, set up camp in a ravine, ravine, or other low-lying area. Remember that a 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.
Mastering Wet Roads: Safety Tips for Heavy Rainfall
When heavy rain falls, safety is paramount. Prepare yourself with these tips from the weather service for navigating wet roads and avoiding hazards:
Beware of rapid water flow:
- In heavy rain, refrain from parking or walking near sewers or drainage ditches, as fast-moving water can pose a serious hazard.
Maintain safe driving distances:
- The two-second rule for distance tracking is your ally in heavy rain. Extend it to four seconds to ensure safe spacing in adverse conditions.
Slow down and be careful:
- On wet roads, reducing speed is crucial. Ease the accelerator pedal gradually and avoid sudden braking to prevent skidding.
Choose your path wisely:
- Stick to the middle lanes on multi-lane roads to reduce the risk of aquaplaning, as water tends to accumulate in the outer lanes.
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 mixture of rain, dirt and oil. Use extreme caution during this period.
Keep a safe distance from large vehicles:
- Large trucks and buses can reduce your visibility with tire spray. Avoid tracking and pass quickly and safely.
Take care of the windshield wipers in your car:
- Overloaded wiper blades can obstruct visibility. If rain severely limits your visibility, stop and wait for conditions to improve. Resort to rest areas or protected places.
- 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.