This week is Severe Weather Awareness week in Michigan by proclamation of Governor Whitmer. While the typical tornado season is often thought of as the peak months of April through June, most months have featured significant tornado events at one time or another.
Last week we looked at various tornado events in Michigan, this week I will focus mainly on thunderstorms, a thunderstorm can cover a larger area with hail and wind damage and flooding events. Derecho events can take out power and knock down trees over a large path due to straight line winds. I have been through many of these events and have seen the damage they cause up close and personal.
Wednesday there will be a state wide tornado drill at 1pm (1300). This is voluntary however I would like to see all area businesses have a plan in place for the protection of their employees.
I set up a new page with checklists from the Michigan State police emergency management and Homeland security MIReady program.
Worldwide, there are an estimated 16 million thunderstorms each year, and at any given moment, there are roughly 2,000 thunderstorms in progress. There are about 100,000 thunderstorms each year in the U.S. alone. About 10% of these reach severe levels.
Many hazardous weather events are associated with thunderstorms. Under the right conditions, rainfall from thunderstorms causes flash flooding, killing more people each year than hurricanes, tornadoes or lightning. Lightning is responsible for many fires around the world each year, and causes fatalities. Hail up to the size of softballs damages cars and windows, and kills livestock caught out in the open. Strong (up to more than 120 mph) straight-line winds associated with thunderstorms knock down trees, power lines and mobile homes. Tornadoes (with winds up to about 300 mph) can destroy all but the best-built man-made structures.
This week it is my intention to provide information on storms and storm safety – stay tuned….
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