...This week is tornado and severe weather awareness week in Wisconsin...
Severe thunderstorms contain multiple dangers that can threaten your safety and personal property in any part of the country and at any time of the year. Although these storms can be fairly small... averaging around 10 to 15 miles in diameter...and have an average lifetime of 20 to 30 minutes...they can cause a tremendous amount of damage in a short amount of time.
Severe thunderstorms are defined as having one or more of the following:
* wind gusts near 60 miles per hour or greater
* hail at least one inch in diameter (the size of a quarter)
* a tornado
All thunderstorms...whether severe or not...contain dangerous lightning.
Severe thunderstorms occur much more frequently than tornadoes. If the National Weather Service issues a Severe Thunderstorm Warning... you need to take action to protect yourself. Move to a sturdy building and do not stand near windows. Always remember that thunderstorms can produce tornadoes with little or no advance warning.
Always monitor current and forecast weather conditions...and keep up to date on the latest severe weather watches and warnings...by listening to NOAA Weather Radio...the voice of noaa's National Weather Service.
Here are some more interesting facts about severe thunderstorms in the state of Wisconsin...
...Each Summer there are about 15 severe thunderstorms in Wisconsin which produce hail 1.5 inches in diameter /ping pong Ball size/ or larger.
...The largest hailstone in Wisconsin was 5.75 inches in diameter. This large hailstone fell on may 22, 1921 on the north side of Wausau. On June 7, 2007...a hailstone of 5.5 inches in diameter fell in Port Edwards in Wood County.
...Severe thunderstorms can occur at any time of the day and at any time of the year. The peak season for severe thunderstorms is between April and September and most likely to occur in the late afternoon or evening hours.
...On Sunday may 31 1998 hurricane-force winds in excess of 100 mph raked several counties in south-central and southeast Wisconsin. A peak gust of 128 mph was measured in southern Dodge County. Hurricane winds start at 74 mph.
...On July 4, 1977...a powerful thunderstorm system generated wind gusts of over 100...with some gusts estimated as high as 150 to 155 mph. Severe tree damage occurred over a distance of 166 miles.
For more on severe weather safety...and the latest weather forecast... go to the National Weather Service Green Bay web site at... www.Weather.Gov/grb