Watch for severe thunderstorms affecting North Texas through midday Sunday, according to the National Weather Service
An updated Severe Thunderstorm Watch was issued by NWS Fort Worth TX on Sunday at 2:58 a.m. in effect until 11 a.m. The watch is for Anderson, Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Ellis, Falls, Freestone, Henderson, Hill, Hood, Johnson, Kaufman, Lampasas, Lyon, Limestone, McLennan, Milam, Navarro, Robertson, Somerville and Van Zandt counties.
This hour is in effect until 11 a.m
How do you behave when faced with the danger of lightning?
Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times annually. The majority of these strikes occur during the summer, killing about 20 people each year, according to the National Weather Service. The probability of lightning increases as a thunderstorm approaches and reaches its highest point when the storm is directly overhead. This risk diminishes as the storm moves away.
Here are suggestions for staying safe during thunderstorms:
• To reduce the possibility of being struck by lightning, when venturing outside, make a plan to get to a safer area.
• If the sky becomes ominous and you hear thunder, find a safe place to take shelter.
• Once inside, avoid touching corded telephones, electrical and plumbing equipment, windows and doors.
• Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning or thunder before returning outside.
If finding indoor shelter is not an option:
• Stay away from open fields, hilltops or hilltops.
• Stay away from tall, isolated trees or other tall objects. If you are in a forest, stay near a smaller group of trees.
• When in a group, leave enough distance to prevent transmission between individuals.
• When camping in an open environment, choose a campsite in a ravine, ravine, or low-lying area. Just remember that tents do not provide protection from lightning.
• Maintain a safe distance from water, wet objects and metal objects. Water and metals do not attract lightning, but they conduct electricity efficiently.
What steps should be followed when driving in the rain?
• Turn on your headlights — Even in broad daylight, using your headlights can help improve visibility and let other drivers know where you are.
• On the road — Drive in center lanes and stay on high ground. Rainwater tends to accumulate on the edges of roads.
• Stay away from puddles — Driving through puddles or areas with low rainfall can cause watercraft to slide or spin out of control
• Give large vehicles plenty of room — trucks or buses can create a water spray that reduces visibility.
• Stay away from flooded areas — When you come to a flooded road, turn around and go back. Flash flood currents are strong and can sweep drivers off the roads. Driving in deep water can also affect a vehicle’s mechanical and electrical systems.
What is hydroplaning?
Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle begins to slide uncontrollably on wet roads.
This occurs when water builds up in front of the tire faster than the vehicle’s weight, pushing the water off the road. Then the water pressure causes the car to rise and slide on a thin layer of water between the tires and the road, causing the driver to lose control of himself. Hydroplaning is mostly due to three factors:
1. Vehicle speed — When vehicle speed increases, tire traction and vehicle control decrease. Drive at low speeds during wet weather.
2. Water depth – The deeper the water, the more traction the car loses on the road. It doesn’t matter how deep the water is, even a thin layer can lead to aquaplaning.
3. Tire Tread Depth – It is important to check your tire tread before hitting the road, as low or no tread can lead to skidding.
In case your car hydroplanes, here’s what you should know:
• Ease off the accelerator — Ease off the accelerator to slow the vehicle down so the tires can grip.
• Turning into a skid zone — Shifting into a skid zone can help realign your vehicle’s tires to regain control.
• Make sure the tires reconnect with the road — During a slide, wait for the tires to reconnect with the road and then gently adjust the wheels to regain control.
• Brake gently as needed — brake normally if your car has anti-lock brakes, and pump the brakes gently if you’re in an older car.
Source: National Meteorological Directorate