Severe storms; call to action?

I’d like to read your feedback on severe thunderstorm warnings, and what actions, if any, you take as a result of hearing these warnings.

We all instinctively know the safety precautions to follow during thunderstorms; stay inside, away from windows, etc.  So I guess my question is, does the fact that a particular storm is labeled “severe” prompt you to take any additional action beyond what you would do anyway during a  “normal”  thunderstorm? 

Posted by Jim Duncan

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21 Responses to Severe storms; call to action?

  1. nbc12weather says:

    Appreciate all of the comments. I have to say I agree that there is a growing risk of “cry wolf” with so many warnings these days versus just a few years ago.
    Jim D.

  2. BrianS says:

    PS – i believe the NWS needs to leverage the hazardous weather statements more often instead of issuing watches/warnings. These statemens can always be escalated when there is a legitamte need.

  3. BrianS says:

    I use weather notify to get emails, SMS, and phone calls from the Weather channel. It works well and is very fast, sometimes i get the call before it pops up on Weather scan. I used to then forward the SMS to all of my friends. But now i corroberate the so-called alert with the radar before doing so. In many cases we get a watch with no echos on the radar. I know a watch means conditions are favorable, but if no storms are on the grid – does the public need to know the conditions are favorable?

    I also do the same for warnings…warnings get issued for these puny storms. I never see winds in excess of 55+ mph nor do i see hail – so why the warning?

  4. walt says:

    I usually stay tuned to weather channel or channel 12 for any updates. Usually, when a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning is issued, it covers an entire county and the forecaster pinpoints what cities and towns will be affected. So why can’t the National Weather Service or NOAA come up with a “Local Severe Storm Warning” for a certain part of a county? If there is a Tornado Warning for, lets say, Chesterfield County, and the storm is only affecting north of the county, then why is the southern portion of the county under the same warning? I think it would help a whole lot in weather forecasting and providing info to the public.

    • BrianS says:

      Agreed. Maybe use area code with the first three phone number digit prefix…assuming they’d use phone numbers to track specific locales.

  5. Syl says:

    I love watching radars from various sources on my PC and TV so I usually have an inkling if something bad is coming and am rarely surprised when a warning on a particular cell or cluster pops up.

    Since my building is on the highest point around (not by much, but it is), I’m on the top floor, and our building has been struck by lightning four times since I moved here twenty years ago, I take the same precautions whether it’s a garden variety storm or a severe one.

  6. Mrs. Weathers says:

    The severe thunderstorm warnings are a great help to me! I normally pay more attention to the sky, close the umbrella outside, make sure the trash cans are secure and the windows in the car are up and oh, I move the car out of the drive way from under the tree! I also call my children to make sure they are in a safe location (indoors) during storms. I realize that the weather is a tricky-sometimes unpredictable thing but I truly appreciate our weather team that monitors the weather. I can still remember Isabelle!!! I don’t know what we would have done without you guys. Keep up the good work.

  7. Clay says:

    If I hear one over the radio while in the car it at least makes me pay more attention to what the sky is doing. If I’m at home, I’ll pull up the radar on a PC and see if there’s really a cell heading my way.

  8. Jolene says:

    I used to get prepared by moving plants inside, securing patio furniture, etc. BUT, Now it seems we get a watch/warning every other day & rarely anything comes of it. CRY-WOLF syndrome has affected me as well.

  9. Brian says:

    I usually put some clothes on when I see a severe T-storm warning. I don’t want to take the chance of a tornado sweeping me away while I’m in my underwear.

  10. Jeff says:

    I have to agree…the NWS has cried wolf way too many times, and as a result nobody does anything when a watch or warning is issued.

    To the guy looking for cooler temps….you’re not going to find them in Virginia in August. or September for that matter, at least not on a regular basis. You may think it’s hot, but this is one of the cooler summers we’ve had since I’ve lived here. I don’t know if that’s actually the case, I just know the number of 95+ degree days has been low compared to summer past….

    • Jennifer says:

      When severe weather does occur, all of sudden everyone who didn’t listen is looking to blame someone else. You should always be aware when there is any sort of a weather warning! The rest is in Mother-Natures hands. If you don’t take precautions that’s your own fault!

  11. VA--native says:

    I have bought one of those surge protectors for my hdtv monitor, computer and dvd player. I know that in VA when it is a severe thunderstorm warning we get something, but if it is severe thunderstorm watch, 9 times out of 10 nothing happens. I am always keeping my eye out in the sky when any thunderstorms are predicted, but of coarse I have recently moved to the lightning capitol of the US, Florida, so I kind of have to keep my eye out, but even when I was in VA I still kept my eye out for a t-storm hoping to get a good one! 😛

  12. jc says:

    after another day with 70% chance of rain and NOT A DROP, I really don’t trust anything i read in a weather forecast anymore.

  13. Its Hot says:

    When do the average low temperatures at night time drop to around 55 or 60 fahrenhiet in VA? Its been like 70 or higher for the low temp at my house for months and months on end

  14. David Clements says:

    if im at home i pop on nbc 12 to watch the radar. If Im out I use NWS composite radar to check directions of storms. I always carry an anemometer in the truck to see if storm cracks 58 mph and be truly severe. It does change my thinking since I understand the difference in a regular and severe.

  15. Sirius...The Star Dog says:

    Absolutely not. The false alarm rate (FAR) and probability of detection (POD) measures of skill for SVR WX are so horrendous…they have little if any value.

    Heightened awareness and closer monitoring of storm-relative motion is warranted with a TOR watch. NWS lead-times are so short…it’s every man for hisself.

  16. During severe storms, I sometimes have to unplug and rescan my digital converter box.

  17. David H. says:

    Severe t’storm warnings are like the boy who cried wolf, at least around here. Lots of warnings, then nothing really happens. One day something will happen, but by then I’ll probably have learned to just ignore the so-called warning. So, basically, I don’t do much of anything.

  18. matzdikow says:

    If anything I get excited during a severe thunderstorm warning and start watching for some wind and hail.

  19. strange mark says:

    nope, a severe thunderstorm warning does not prompt me to take any additional action, in fact I was cuting grass yesterday afternoon during a thunder and lightening storm and nothing happened to me. I would recommend that everyone else do the same!

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