Weather alert for strong thunderstorms in Northeast Alabama Tuesday night

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The National Weather Service issued a report at 9:22 p.m. on Tuesday for strong thunderstorms until 10 p.m. for Marshall, Jackson and DeKalb counties.

Residents can expect wind gusts of up to 40 mph.

“At 9:22 p.m., Doppler radar tracked a strong thunderstorm near Guntersville, moving northeast at 70 mph,” states the weather service. “Gusty winds could knock down tree limbs and blow around unsecured objects.”

The warning is for Scottsboro, Guntersville, Arab, Henagar, Sylvania, Hollywood, Powell, Grant, Section and Woodville.

The weather service comments, “If outdoors, consider seeking shelter inside a building. Frequent cloud to ground lightning is occurring with this storm. Lightning can strike 10 miles away from a thunderstorm. Seek a safe shelter inside a building or vehicle. A Tornado Watch remains in effect until 2 a.m. for northeastern Alabama.”

Staying safe as lightning approaches: Expert advice

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 a safe place to shelter, 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.
  • Lightning can follow conductive pathways, and these precautions reduce the risk of electrical surges.

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 no alternative exists, set up camp in a valley, ravine, or other low-lying areas. Remember that a tent offers no protection against lightning.
  • Do not approach water bodies, wet objects, or metal items. While water and metal don’t 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.

Mastering wet roads: Safety tips for heavy rainfall

When heavy rain strikes, safety is paramount. Equip yourself with these guidelines from the weather service to navigate wet roads and avoid hazards:

Beware of swollen waterways:

  • 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:

  • Adhere to the two-second rule for maintaining a safe following distance behind the vehicle in front of you. In heavy rain, allow an additional two seconds of distance to compensate for reduced traction and braking effectiveness.

Slow down and drive with care:

  • 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 on multi-lane roads to minimize the risk of hydroplaning, as water tends to accumulate in outer lanes.

Visibility matters:

  • Enhance your visibility in heavy rain by activating your headlights. Be particularly vigilant for vehicles in blind spots, as rain-smeared windows can obscure them.

Watch out for slippery roads:

  • Be extra careful during the first half hour after rain begins. Grime and oil on the road surface mix with water to make the road slippery.

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:

  • Heavy rain can overload the wiper blades. When visibility is so limited that the edges of the road or other vehicles cannot be seen at a safe distance, it is time to pull over and wait for the rain to ease up. It is best to stop at rest areas or other protected areas.
  • 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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