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Weather warning for severe thunderstorms in East Central Alabama early Monday evening

Weather warning for severe thunderstorms in East Central Alabama early Monday evening
Weather warning for severe thunderstorms in East Central Alabama early Monday evening

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Tallapoosa, Chambers and Lee counties at 4:12 p.m. Monday until 4:45 p.m.

Residents must expect wind gusts of up to 65 km/h.

“At 4:12 p.m., Doppler radar tracked a strong thunderstorm over Camp Hill. This thunderstorm was nearly stationary,” the weather service said. “Gusty winds could knock down tree limbs and blow over unsecured objects.”

Places affected by the warning include Dadeville, Camp Hill, Jacksons’ Gap, Waverly, Still Waters Resort, Eastern Lake Martin, Southern Lake Martin, Dare Park, Susannah Crossing, Maxwell Gunter Recreation Area, Roxana and Blue Creek Marina.

The weather service states: “If you are outdoors, seek shelter in a building.”

Preparing for lightning strikes: safety tips from experts

Lightning strikes occur about 25 million times each year in the United States, with the majority of these electrical discharges occurring during the summer months. Tragically, lightning strikes claim the lives of about 20 people each year, according to the Weather Service. The risk of lightning strikes increases as thunderstorms approach, peaking when the storm is directly overhead. However, it gradually subsides as the storm recedes.

To ensure your safety during a thunderstorm, follow these recommendations:

Lightning protection plan:

  • When you are outdoors, it is important to have a clear plan for seeking shelter in the event of a lightning strike.
  • Watch the sky for ominous signs and listen for sounds of thunder. If thunder is heard, it is an indication that lightning is nearby.
  • Find a safe shelter, preferably indoors.

Indoor safety measures:

  • If you have found shelter in a building, refrain from using corded telephones, electrical appliances or plumbing and do not approach windows and doors.
  • These precautions help reduce the risk of electrical surges, as lightning can follow conductive paths.

Wait for the all-clear:

  • Wait at least 30 minutes after the last lightning strike or clap of thunder before resuming outdoor activities.
  • Even when a thunderstorm appears to be over, lightning can still strike, so be careful.

If no shelter is available in the house:

If you are outdoors during a thunderstorm and do not have access to shelter, take the following steps to maximize your safety:

  • Avoid open fields, hilltops or ridges where the risk of lightning strikes is greater.
  • Stay away from tall, isolated trees and other prominent objects. In forested areas, stay close to lower stands of trees.
  • If you are traveling in a group, make sure that everyone keeps a sufficient distance from each other to prevent the lightning current from being transmitted between people.
  • Camping outdoors during a thunderstorm is strongly discouraged. If you have no other options, set up camp in a valley, ravine, or other low-lying area. It is important to note that a tent does not provide protection from lightning strikes.
  • Do not approach bodies of water, wet objects, or metal objects. Although water and metal do not attract lightning, they are good conductors of electricity and can pose significant risks.

In summary, vigilance and preparation are your best allies when you are at risk of being struck by lightning. By following these guidelines, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of lightning accidents and put your safety first.

Driving on wet roads: Safety tips for wet weather

Heavy rain increases the risk of flooding and dangerous roads. Here’s your weather service guide to staying safe during downpours:

Be careful in case of flooding:

During heavy rain, avoid parking or walking near culverts or drainage ditches, as fast-flowing water can pose a serious hazard.

Keep the safety distance:

Follow the two-second rule to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. In heavy rain, allow an additional two seconds to compensate for reduced traction and braking.

Slow down and be careful:

When it is raining and the roads are wet, slow down. Take your foot off the accelerator and reduce the speed gradually. Never brake suddenly, otherwise the car may skid.

Choose your lane carefully:

On multi-lane roads, stay in the middle lane to minimize the risk of aquaplaning, as water tends to collect in the outer lanes.

Visibility is important:

In heavy rain, turn on your headlights to improve your visibility. Watch for vehicles in your blind spot as rain-smeared windows can obscure them.

Be careful on slippery roads:

During the first half hour of rain, the roads are most slippery due to a mixture of rain, dirt and oil. Be especially careful during this time.

Keep a safe distance from large vehicles:

Do not drive too close behind large trucks or buses. The spray created by their large tires will limit your visibility. Also be careful when overtaking; if you must overtake, do so quickly and safely.

Pay attention to your windshield wipers:

Overloaded wiper blades can reduce visibility. If rain severely reduces your visibility, pull over to the side of the road and wait for conditions to improve. Seek shelter in rest areas or sheltered areas.

If the side of the road is your only option, pull over as far as possible, preferably to the end of a guardrail, and wait for the storm to pass. Keep your headlights on and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers to your position.

In heavy rain, these precautions can go a long way to keeping you safe on the road. Remember to check weather conditions and follow the instructions of local authorities to ensure a safe journey.

Advance Local Weather Alerts is a service from United Robots that uses machine learning to compile the latest data from the National Weather Service.

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