Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Aberdeen, SD

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000
NOUS43 KABR 211101
PNSABR
SDZ003>011-015>023-033>037-045-048-051-212315-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ABERDEEN SD
601 AM CDT MON APR 21 2014 /501 AM MDT MON APR 21 2014/

...SOUTH DAKOTA SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK...DAY ONE...
...THUNDERSTORMS...HAIL...WIND AND LIGHTNING...

THUNDERSTORMS...
AFFECT RELATIVELY SMALL AREAS WHEN COMPARED WITH MOST OTHER STORMS. THE
TYPICAL THUNDERSTORM IS 15 MILES IN DIAMETER AND LASTS FOR 30
MINUTES. BUT DESPITE THIS SIZE...ALL THUNDERSTORMS ARE DANGEROUS.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCE LARGE HAIL OR WINDS OF AT LEAST 58
MPH. SOME WIND GUSTS CAN EXCEED 100 MPH AND PRODUCE TORNADO-LIKE
DAMAGE. MANY COMMUNITIES WILL SOUND THEIR OUTDOOR SIRENS FOR VERY
DAMAGING STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS. WHEN A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM
THREATENS... STAY INSIDE A STRONG STRUCTURE. MOBILE HOME OCCUPANTS
SHOULD GO TO A MORE PERMANENT STRUCTURE.

HAIL...
IS ANOTHER PRODUCT OF THUNDERSTORMS THAT ANNUALLY CAUSES NEARLY ONE
BILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGE THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES. MANY OF
THE LOSSES ARE INCURRED BY FARMERS. THE MOST COMMON DIAMETER IS
PEA SIZE...BUT HAIL CAN BE AS LARGE AS GOLF BALLS AND BASEBALLS.
IN EXTREME CASES HAIL CAN REACH GRAPEFRUIT SIZE. LARGE HAIL STONES
FALL AT SPEEDS FASTER THAN 100 MPH AND HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO KILL
PEOPLE.

THE LARGEST HAIL STONE IN SOUTH DAKOTA LAST YEAR WAS 4.25 INCHES OR THE
SIZE OF A SOFTBALL. THE STONE FELL SOUTHEAST OF FAIRBURN IN
CUSTER COUNTY ON JUNE 21.

THUNDERSTORM WINDS...
THUNDERSTORMS CAN PRODUCE STRONG WIND GUSTS.  THESE STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS
HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO EXCEED 100 MILES PER HOUR. FOR THIS
REASON...YOU SHOULD TREAT SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS JUST AS YOU WOULD
TORNADOES. MOVE TO AN APPROPRIATE SHELTER IF IN THE PATH OF THE
STORM.

THE STRONG OUT RUSH OF WIND FROM A THUNDERSTORM IS OFTEN CALLED A
DOWNBURST. ONE OF THE PRIMARY CAUSES IS RAIN-COOLED AIR...WHICH
ACCELERATES RAPIDLY DOWNWARD... PRODUCING A POTENTIALLY DAMAGING
GUST OF WIND.

STRONG DOWNBURSTS ARE OFTEN MISTAKEN FOR TORNADOES.  THEY CAN PRODUCE
EXTENSIVE DAMAGE AND ARE OFTEN ACCOMPANIED BY A ROARING SOUND
SIMILAR TO THAT OF A TORNADO. DOWNBURSTS CAN EASILY OVERTURN
MOBILE HOMES...TEAR ROOFS OFF HOUSES...AND TOPPLE TREES. PEOPLE
WHO ARE CAMPING ARE ESPECIALLY VULNERABLE...DUE TO TREES TOPPLING
ONTO THEIR CAMP SITES.

THE HIGHEST WIND GUST RECORDED LAST YEAR IN SOUTH DAKOTA WAS 91 MPH WHICH
OCCURRED IN TULARE ON AUGUST 28.

LIGHTNING...
EVERY THUNDERSTORM PRODUCES LIGHTNING...WHICH ON A NATIONAL BASIS...KILLS
MORE PEOPLE THAN TORNADOES IN A GIVEN YEAR. LIGHTNING KILLS
AROUND 100 AMERICANS ANNUALLY...WITH ABOUT 300 INJURIES. THE
MAJORITY OF FATALITIES OCCUR DURING LEISURE ACTIVITIES... LIKE
SOFTBALL OR BASEBALL...FISHING AND CAMPING.

THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME SAFETY TIPS...

   1.  ALL THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCE LIGHTNING.  IT IS SURPRISING
       THAT MANY PEOPLE ARE NOT AWARE OF THIS.

   2.  GET INSIDE A BUILDING OR ENCLOSED VEHICLE.
       MANY FATALITIES OCCUR WHEN THE WARNING SIGNS ARE IGNORED.

   3.  IF CAUGHT IN AN OPEN AREA WITH LIGHTNING ALL AROUND...
       CROUCH DOWN IMMEDIATELY!  PUT YOU HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD...
       BUT DO NOT LIE DOWN ON THE GROUND.

   4.  DO NOT USE A CORDED TELEPHONE OR ELECTRICAL APPLIANCE.  A NEARBY
       LIGHTNING STRIKE CAN TRAVEL THROUGH THE PHONE OR POWER
       LINES...RIGHT INTO THE HOME.

   5.  AVOID SEEKING SHELTER BENEATH LONE TREES.

MYTHS AND FACTS...

MYTH...IF IT IS NOT RAINING...THERE IS NO DANGER FROM LIGHTNING.
FACT...LIGHTNING OFTEN STRIKES AWAY FROM HEAVY RAINFALL AND MAY
       OCCUR AS FAR AS 10 MILES AWAY FROM ANY RAINFALL.

MYTH...RUBBER SOLES OF SHOES...OR RUBBER TIRES ON A CAR WILL
       PROTECT YOU FROM BEING INJURED BY LIGHTNING.
FACT...RUBBER PROVIDES NO PROTECTION FROM LIGHTNING.  HOWEVER...
       THE STEEL FRAME OF A HARD-TOPPED VEHICLE PROVIDES
       INCREASED PROTECTION IF YOU ARE NOT TOUCHING METAL.

MYTH...PEOPLE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING CARRY AN ELECTRICAL CHARGE
       AND SHOULD NOT BE TOUCHED.
FACT...LIGHTNING-STRIKE VICTIMS CARRY NO ELECTRICAL CHARGE AND
       SHOULD BE ATTENDED TO IMMEDIATELY.

MYTH...HEAT LIGHTING OCCURS AFTER VERY HOT SUMMER DAYS AND POSES
       NO THREAT.
FACT...WHAT IS REFERRED TO AS HEAT LIGHTNING IS ACTUALLY
       LIGHTNING FROM A THUNDERSTORM TOO FAR AWAY FOR THUNDER
       TO BE HEARD.  HOWEVER...THE STORM MAY BE MOVING IN YOUR
       DIRECTION.


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