Severe Thunderstorm Watch Issued for 10 Massachusetts Counties Through Sunday Night

Severe Thunderstorm Watch Issued for 10 Massachusetts Counties Through Sunday Night

Severe Thunderstorm Watch Issued for 10 Massachusetts Counties Through Sunday Night

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning at 11:10 a.m. Sunday, in effect until 7 p.m. for Bristol, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester counties.

Preparing for Imminent Lightning Strikes: Expert Safety Recommendations

Each year, lightning strikes in the United States about 25 million times, with most of these electrifying events occurring during the summer months. Unfortunately, lightning is responsible for claiming the lives of about 20 people a year, the weather service reports. The threat of lightning becomes more pronounced as thunderstorms approach, peaking when the storm is directly overhead and gradually diminishing as it moves away.

To ensure your safety during a thunderstorm, please consider the following recommendations:

Lightning Safety Plan:

  • When venturing outdoors, it is essential to establish a clear plan for seeking shelter in the event of lightning.
  • Keep an eye on the sky for threatening signs and listen for the sound of thunder. If thunder is heard, it is an indication that lightning is nearby.
  • Quickly seek shelter in a safe place, preferably indoors.

Indoor security measures:

  • Once you have found refuge indoors, refrain from using corded phones, electrical appliances or plumbing fixtures and avoid approaching windows and doors.
  • Lightning can follow conductive paths and these precautions reduce the risk of electrical surges.

Wait until everything is fine:

  • After the last lightning or thunder, wait at least 30 minutes before resuming outdoor activities.
  • It is important to remember that lightning can strike even when the storm appears to have passed, so be careful.

When indoor shelter is not available:

If you are outdoors without access to indoor shelter during a thunderstorm, take these steps to maximize your safety:

  • Avoid open fields, hilltops or mountain ridges, which expose you to a higher risk of lightning.
  • Stay away from tall, isolated trees and other prominent objects. In wooded areas, stay close to the lower tree areas.
  • If you are in a group, make sure people are spaced apart to prevent lightning current from transferring between people.
  • Camping in the open during a thunderstorm is strongly discouraged. If you have no other alternative, set up camp in a valley, ravine or other low-lying area. It is important to note that a tent does not offer protection from lightning.
  • Do not go near bodies of water, wet objects or metal elements. While water and metal do not attract lightning, they conduct electricity effectively and can pose significant risks.

In short, when faced with the threat of lightning, preparation and vigilance are your best allies. By following these guidelines, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of lightning-related incidents and prioritize your safety.

Sailing in heavy rain: essential safety measures for wet roads

Rain can make roadways hazardous. Stay informed and follow these tips from the weather service to ensure safety during heavy rain:

Be careful with fast water flow:

During heavy rain, refrain from parking or walking near storm drains or drainage ditches, where fast-moving water can pose a serious hazard.

Maintain safe driving distances:

Use the two-second rule to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you and allow an extra two seconds in heavy rain.

Slow down and drive with caution:

On wet roads, it is essential to reduce speed. Release the accelerator gradually and avoid sudden braking to avoid skidding.

Choose your lane wisely:

Stay in the center lanes to minimize the risk of hydroplaning. The outside lanes are more prone to pooling water.

Prioritize visibility

Turn on your headlights and watch out for other vehicles behind you and in blind spot areas, as they are especially difficult to see through rain-spattered windows.

Be careful on slippery roads:

The first half hour of rain is when roads are most slippery due to a mixture of rain, dirt and oil. Use extreme caution during this period.

Keep a safe distance from large vehicles:

Large trucks and buses can reduce your visibility with tire spray. Avoid following them closely and pass quickly and safely.

Take care of your windshield wipers:

Overloaded wiper blades can impair visibility. If rain severely affects your vision, stop and wait for conditions to improve. Seek shelter in rest areas or protected places.

When stopping on the side of the road is the only option, position your vehicle as far off the road as possible, ideally beyond guardrails. Keep your headlights on and activate your emergency flashers to alert other drivers to your position.

In the event 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 pay attention to instructions from local authorities for safe travel.

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.