Debunking Common Severe Weather Myths


With severe weather season underway, now is a good time to bust some common severe weather myths.

Myth 1: If you are caught outside during a tornado, an overpass is a safe place to seek shelter.

At first thought it doesn’t seem like a bad place to be, a sturdy concrete structure. However, you will still run the risk of being hit by debris the tornado picks up. An even bigger concern is that the winds become stronger under an overpass.

The narrow corridors of an overpass cause wind speeds to accelerate, because the winds become more concentrated.  As the wind moves underneath the overpass, a wind tunnel effect is created and making it even harder to stay in your location, and more likely to be thrown by the tornado.

If you are caught outside during a tornado and you cannot drive away from the storm, duck down in your vehicle making sure to get below the windows, try to cover yourself with a blanket or a coat. If you can safely get lower than the level of the roadway, leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.

Myth 2: The low pressure in a tornado causes buildings to explode, so opening the windows will equalize the pressure, saving your home

While true that tornadoes have very low pressure, the violent winds and debris from a tornado cause most of the structural damage, still destroying your home. So don’t take that crucial time to open your windows, just get to a safe location in the interior part of your home away from doors and windows. 

Myth 3: If the skies above you are clear, you are safe from lightning

The truth is, if storms are nearby, you are in danger of getting struck by lightning.Lightning can strike 10 to 15 miles away from a storm.

 If you hear thunder, you’re close enough to be struck by lightning. A good saying to remember is, “if thunder roars head indoors.”

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