Update: Marble-sized hail and thunderstorms are expected in North Texas on Sunday
An updated weather alert issued by NWS Fort Worth TX on Sunday at 4:29 a.m. warns residents of strong thunderstorms until 5:15 a.m. The alert is for Johnson, Ellis and Hale counties.
Storms are filled with marble-sized hail (0.5 inch).
According to the NWS, “These storms may intensify, so be sure to monitor available local radio and TV stations for additional information and possible warnings from the National Weather Service. A severe thunderstorm watch remains in effect until 11 a.m. in central and north-central Texas. “
This alert is in effect until 5:15 a.m
Actions to take when a lightning threat is imminent
About 25 million lightning strikes occur in the United States each year, most of which occur during the summer months. The NWS reports that these strikes kill about 20 people annually. The probability of lightning strikes increases as a thunderstorm approaches and reaches its peak when the storm is directly above it. As the storm moves away, this possibility diminishes.
Here are recommendations for staying safe during thunderstorms:
• To reduce the possibility of being struck by lightning, when venturing outside, make a plan to get to a safer area.
• If the sky becomes threatening and thunder becomes audible, find a safe place to seek shelter.
• Once inside, refrain from touching corded phones, electrical appliances, plumbing, windows and doors.
• Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning or thunder strike before heading outside again.
If finding indoor shelter is not an option:
• Stay away from open fields, hilltops or hilltops.
• Stay away from tall, isolated trees or other tall objects. If you are in a forest, stay near a smaller group of trees.
• If you are with a group, distribute to prevent transmission between members.
• If you are camping in an open area, choose a ravine, ravine, or low-lying area for your campsite. Remember that tents do not protect you from lightning.
• Stay away from water, wet objects and metal objects. While water and metal do not attract lightning, they are good conductors of electricity.
What to do in the rain on the road?
• Turn on your headlights — Even in broad daylight, using your headlights can help improve visibility and let other drivers know where you are.
• While on the road — choose middle lanes and stay on high ground. Rainwater tends to collect along the edges of the road.
• Stay away from puddles — Driving through puddles or areas with low rainfall can cause watercraft to slide or spin out of control
• Do not follow large vehicles too closely — Large vehicles such as trucks or buses can create a spray of water that can reduce your visibility.
• Avoid flooded areas — If you encounter a flooded road, make a U-turn and reverse. Strong currents of flash floods can send drivers off the road. Driving in deep water can also damage a vehicle’s mechanical and electrical systems.
What is hydroplaning?
Hydroplaning is the term given to when a car begins to slide uncontrollably on wet roads.
This occurs when water builds up in front of the tire faster than the vehicle’s weight, pushing the water off the road. Then the water pressure causes the car to rise and slide on a thin layer of water between the tires and the road, causing the driver to lose control of himself. The three main reasons for hydroplaning are:
1. Vehicle speed — When vehicle speed increases, tire traction and vehicle control decrease. Drive at low speeds during wet weather.
2. Water depth – The deeper the water, the more traction the car loses on the road. It doesn’t matter how deep the water is, even a thin layer can lead to aquaplaning.
3. Tire Tread Depth – It is important to check your tire tread before hitting the road, as low or no tread can lead to skidding.
In case your car hydroplanes, here’s what you should know:
• Ease off the accelerator — Ease off the accelerator to slow the vehicle down so the tires can grip.
• Turning into a skid zone — Shifting into a skid zone can help realign your vehicle’s tires to regain control.
• Make sure the tires reconnect with the road — During a slide, wait for the tires to reconnect with the road and then gently adjust the wheels to regain control.
• Brake gently as needed — brake normally if your car has anti-lock brakes, and pump the brakes gently if you’re in an older car.
Source: National Meteorological Directorate