Thunderstorms need three ingredients to develop-- heat, moisture and a way to lift all that up into the atmosphere.
All thunderstorms have some form of hail, but it sometimes melts before it hits the ground.
Tornadoes form when winds in the thunderstorm start to rotate.
A tornado is a column of violently rotating winds extending down from a thunderstorm cloud and touching the surface of the earth.
An average of 16 tornadoes occur in Michigan each year.
Most tornadoes occur during the months of May, June, July and August in the late afternoon and evening hours. However, tornadoes can occur anytime of the day or night during almost any month of the year.
A total of seven F5 tornadoes have occurred in Michigan since 1950. Of these seven, four occurred during the month of April.
The average Summer high temperature in mid-Michigan is between 85 and 90. When the humidity is 60% or higher, the heat index climbs to over 100 degrees.
A flood is a slow rise in water from a prolonged period of heavy rain.
A flash flood occurs within six hours of a rain event. Flash floods are usually caused by slow-moving, powerful thunderstorms.
Floods are the number one weather-related killer in the United States. Even six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet, and two feet of water is enough to float a car.
Severe Weather Watch: Issued when conditions exist for severe weather to develop.
Severe Weather Warning: Issued when severe weather is currently happening or will take place shortly.
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards: http://www.weather.gov/nwr/
Make sure everyone in your household knows where to go and what to do in the case of a tornado or thunderstorm warning.
The safest spot in your home is usually the basement. If you don't have a basement, choose an interior room on the ground floor that doesn't have any windows, such as a bathroom or closet.
Keep an emergency supply kit ready:
Flashlight an extra batteries
First-Aid kit and family medications
Extra shoes and clothing
Supplies for your pets
For more information: http://www.ready.gov/
Do not try to drive over flooded roads.
Don't let children play in flood waters, they may be contaminated.
After a flood, boil water before using it. It could also be contaminated.
During times of extreme heat stay inside if you can. If you must go outside, drink plenty of water and stay away from soda and alcohol. Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing. Slow down and take frequents breaks, preferably in the shade. Cover all exposed skin with a high SPF sunscreen.
AFTER SEVERE WEATHER HITS
Inspect your home, vehicles and property for damage. Check for electrical or gas leaks and report them to the utility company immediately.
Watch out for fallen power lines and stay out of damaged buildings.
TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME
Keep trees near house trimmed and remove dead branches. Keep cars parked in the garage during stormy weather.
Raise your washer and dryer 6 inches off the ground in your basement to protect them from flood damage.
Add a sump pump to your basement to keep ground water from coming inside.
Cut basement drywall so its an inch off the floor. Concrete floors can absorb moisture, which can then wick up the walls and allow mold to grow.
Create a home inventory: http://www.iiminfo.org/about/index.aspx