Think you could take on a strong storm? Before you get carried away, here’s what you really need to know about hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and thunder and lightning.
Hurricanes can be up to 600 miles across and travel at speeds of 75 to 200 mph. The effects of a hurricane can often be felt before it even arrives.
Tornadoes move at such high speeds that they have no trouble tossing a 2000 to 3000 pound van into the air. They have been known to freight sideways off their tracks.
Every thunderstorm is dangerous because each produces lightning and can also bring tornadoes, hail, strong winds and flash flooding.
The sound of a tornado changes depending on how close it is to the ground. Those passing just above ground sound like bees. Tornadoes higher up can sound like a train, jet plane or waterfall.
Flash flooding and rivers overflowing usually are the result of an abnormally heavy rainfall in a short time frame. It takes only hours for a flash flood to happen but days for a river to overflow.
Hurricanes need warm water below and cool wind above in order to form. The wind must also be blowing in the same direction in order to force warm air from the ocean upwards to meet the cool air.
Remember the 30/30 lightning safety rule. Head for indoors if you see lightening but can’t count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
Most people are struck by summer lightening when caught outdoors in the afternoon and evening.
The term cyclone and tornadoes are often mixed up. A cyclone is any area of low pressure while a tornado is a violently rotating column of wind. Both are equally damaging.