Weather alert for strong thunderstorms in Elmore County until early Wednesday

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A weather alert was issued by the National Weather Service on Tuesday at 11:27 p.m. for strong thunderstorms until Wednesday at midnight for Elmore County.

Residents may experience wind gusts of up to 40 mph.

“At 11:27 p.m., Doppler radar tracked a strong thunderstorm over Elmore, or near Millbrook, moving east at 50 mph,” says the weather service. “Gusty winds could knock down tree limbs and blow around unsecured objects.”

The warning is for Millbrook, Wetumpka, Elmore, Coosada, Deatsville, Eclectic, Santuck, Jordan Lake, Ten Cedar Estates, Dexter, Blue Ridge, Western Lake Martin, Claud, Holtville, Wetumpka Municipal Airport, Central, Jordan Dam, Wallsboro and Speigner.

The weather service adds, “If outdoors, consider seeking shelter inside a building. A Tornado Watch remains in effect until 2 a.m. for east central Alabama.”

Shielding yourself from approaching lightning: Expert safety guidelines

Each year, lightning strikes the United States approximately 25 million times, with the majority of these electrifying events occurring during the summer months. Unfortunately, lightning is responsible for claiming the lives of approximately 20 people annually, as reported by the weather service. The threat of lightning becomes more pronounced as thunderstorms draw nearer, peaking when the storm is directly overhead and gradually waning as it moves away.

To guarantee your safety in the midst of a thunderstorm, take into account the following recommendations:

1. Lightning safety plan:

  • When venturing outdoors, it’s vital to establish a clear plan for seeking shelter in case of lightning.
  • Monitor the sky for threatening signs and listen for the sound of thunder. If thunder is audible, it’s an indication that lightning is nearby.
  • Seek shelter promptly in a safe location, preferably indoors.

2. Indoors safety measures:

  • Once you’re indoors, avoid using corded phones, electrical devices, plumbing fixtures, and stay away from windows and doors.
  • These precautions help reduce the risk of electrical surges, as lightning can follow conductive pathways.

3. Wait for the all-clear:

  • After the last lightning strike or thunderclap, wait at least 30 minutes before resuming outdoor activities.
  • It’s important to remember that lightning can strike even when a storm seems to have passed, so exercise caution.

When indoor shelter isn’t available:

If you find yourself outdoors with no access to indoor shelter during a thunderstorm, take these steps to maximize your safety:

  • Avoid open fields, hilltops, or ridge crests, as they expose you to greater lightning risk.
  • Steer clear of tall, isolated trees and other prominent objects. In wooded areas, stay close to lower stands of trees.
  • If you’re in a group, ensure that individuals are spaced out to prevent lightning current from transferring between people.
  • Camping in an open setting during a thunderstorm is strongly discouraged. If you have no alternative, set up camp in a valley, ravine, or other low-lying areas. It’s crucial to note that a tent provides no protection against lightning.
  • Do not approach water bodies, wet objects, or metal items. Although water and metal do not attract lightning, they conduct electricity effectively and can pose significant risks.

In summary, when facing the threat of lightning, 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.

Driving through downpours: Safety guidelines for wet roads

When heavy rain sets in, the risk of flooding and hazardous driving conditions rises. Whether it’s prolonged rainfall or rapid runoff, being prepared is essential. Here are some valuable safety tips from the weather service to ensure you stay safe in heavy rain:

Beware of rapid water flow:

  • During heavy rain, avoid parking or walking near culverts or drainage ditches, where swift-moving water can pose a serious risk.

Maintain safe driving distances:

  • The two-second rule for following distance is your ally in heavy rain. Extend it to four seconds to ensure safe spacing in adverse conditions.

Slow down and stay cautious:

  • On wet roads, reducing your speed is crucial. Ease off the gas pedal gradually and avoid abrupt braking to prevent skidding.

Choose your lane wisely:

  • Stick to the middle lanes to minimize the risk of hydroplaning. Outer lanes are more prone to accumulating water.

Visibility matters:

  • Turn on your headlights and be careful of other vehicles to the rear and in blind spot areas as they are especially difficult to see through rain-spattered windows.

Watch out for slippery roads:

  • The initial half-hour of rain is when roads are slickest due to a mixture of rain, grime, and oil. Exercise heightened caution during this period.

Keep a safe distance from large vehicles:

  • Don’t follow large trucks or buses too closely. The spray created by their large tires reduces your vision. Take care when passing them as well; if you must pass, do so quickly and safely.

Mind your windshield wipers:

  • Overloaded wiper blades can hinder visibility. If rain severely limits your sight, pull over and wait for conditions to improve. Seek refuge at rest areas or protected spots.
  • When stopping by the roadside is your only option, position your vehicle as far off the road as possible, ideally beyond guardrails. Keep your headlights on and activate emergency flashers to alert other drivers of your position.

In the face of heavy rain, these precautions can make a significant difference in ensuring your safety on the road. Remember to stay informed about weather conditions and heed guidance from local authorities for a secure journey.

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

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