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Public Information Statement

Statement as of 7:00 AM EDT on April 28, 2015


The National Weather Service has declared the week of April 27th
through may 1st, severe weather awareness week in New England. This
is the second in a series of five public information statements on
various topics related to severe weather awareness.


... Severe weather awareness - thunderstorms and lightning...

Summertime is a good time for outdoor recreational activities
in new england; it is also the time of the year when
thunderstorms are most likely. Thunderstorms can be
beautiful, but they also can be deadly. While many people
think they are aware of the dangers of thunderstorms and
lightning, the vast majority are not.

There are three basic ingredients needed for the formation of
a thunderstorm. They include low-level moisture, an unstable
atmosphere, and a trigger (a source of lift).

Low-level moisture:
this moisture is needed for cloud formation, growth, and
    the development of precipitation within the cloud.

Unstable atmosphere:an unstable atmosphere allows warm, moist air
    near the ground to rise rapidly to higher levels in the
    atmosphere where temperatures are below freezing. An unstable
    atmosphere also allows air at higher levels in the atmosphere to
    sink to the ground level rapidly, bringing stronger winds from
    the higher levels to the ground.

A trigger:
something to set the atmosphere in motion.

All three ingredients contribute to the formation of a
thunderstorm. In fact, as the magnitudes of these ingredients
increase, so do the chances that a thunderstorms could become
severe.

In the summertime, listen to the latest forecast and learn to
recognize the signs that often precede thunderstorm
development.

Warm muggy air is a sign that ample low-level moisture is
available for thunderstorm development. Towering cumulus
clouds indicate an atmosphere that is, or is becoming,
unstable. And, the trigger could be continued heating from
the sun; an approaching front or sea breeze front; or a
cooling of the upper atmosphere.

All thunderstorms go through various stages of growth and
development. As a thunderstorm cloud continues to grow, snow
and ice begin to form in the middle and higher levels of the
cloud where temperatures are below freezing, and electrical
charges start to build up within the cloud. Negative
electrical charges near the middle of the thunderstorm cloud
cause positive charges to build up on the ground under and
near the thunderstorm. Finally, when the difference between
these charges becomes too great, a giant atmospheric spark we
call lightning occurs.

Lightning is an underrated killer, usually claiming its
victims one at a time. Lightning also leaves many victims
with life-long serious injuries. Lightning can strike as far
as 10 miles from the side of the thunderstorm cloud. In
fact, many lightning victims are struck before the rain
arrives or after the rain has ended. Many victims also
report that at least a portion of the sky was blue when they
were struck. During the past 10 years, Maine has had 4
lightning fatalities while New Hampshire has not had any.
Although Maine has less lightning than most states east of
the Rocky Mountains, Maine ranks 4th highest in the country
in terms of lightning deaths per capita for the past 10
years.

This Summer, the National Weather Service will participate in
a nationwide awareness Campaign to reduce the number of
deaths and injuries from lightning. Although more
information on lightning and lightning safety will be
provided during lightning safety awareness week that will be
during the week of June 21st-27th, here are some basic tips
to help keep you and your family safe this Summer.

While inside a home or building

1.Avoid any contact with electrical or electronic equipment or
cords that are plugged into the electrical system.

2. Avoid any contact with corded phones.

3. Avoid any contact with the plumbing system. Do not wash your
hands, do not wash the dishes, do not take a shower, or do not do
laundry.

4. Do not stand next to a Concrete wall and do not lie on a Concrete
floor.

5. Stay away from windows, outside doorways, and porches.

Tips while outdoors

1.There is no safe place outside in a thunderstorm. To be
safe, you must get inside a substantial building or
hard-topped metal vehicle.

2. Plan outside activities so that you minimize the risk of being
caught outside in a thunderstorm.

3. If you hear thunder, move inside a safe shelter immedi-ately.
Generally, if you can hear the thunder, you're within striking
distance of the storm.

4. If the sky looks threatening, move inside immediately. Don't
wait for the first flash of lightning. It could occur anywhere
under or near the storm.

5. Stay inside a safe shelter for at least 30 minutes after the last
rumble of thunder was heard. Many lightning victims are struck
after the worst part of the storm has passed.

Remember, when it comes to thunderstorm safety, it's your own
actions that will determine your personal risk of being
killed or seriously injured by The Hazards that accompany
thunderstorms.

Here is a list of the other topics that have been or will be
covered in public information statements issued by the
National Weather Service this week.

Monday... ... some basic definitions
Wednesday... severe thunderstorms - downbursts, microbursts,
            and hail
Thursday... .tornadoes
Friday... ... flash floods


Weather Severe Map
Alabama - Coastal Hazard Statement
Alaska - High Wind Warning , Record Report
Arkansas - Flood Warning , Flood Advisory
California - Record Report
Colorado - Public Information Statement
Connecticut - Special Statement , Public Information Statement
Delaware - Special Statement
Florida - Flood Warning , Coastal Hazard Statement , Special Statement , Record Report
Georgia - Flood Warning , Public Information Statement
Hawaii - High Surf Advisory , Record Report
Illinois - Flood Warning
Kansas - Public Information Statement
Kentucky - Flood Warning
Louisiana - Flood Warning , Flood Advisory , Record Report
Maine - Flood Warning , Public Information Statement
Maryland - Special Statement
Massachusetts - Public Information Statement
Mississippi - Flood Warning , Flood Advisory , Record Report
Missouri - Flood Warning , Flood Advisory , Public Information Statement
Nebraska - Public Information Statement
Nevada - Public Information Statement
New Hampshire - Public Information Statement
New Jersey - Special Statement
New Mexico - Public Information Statement
New York - Special Statement , Record Report , Public Information Statement
North Carolina - Public Information Statement
North Dakota - Flood Warning
Oklahoma - Record Report
Pennsylvania - Special Statement , Record Report , Public Information Statement
Rhode Island - Public Information Statement
South Carolina - Flood Warning , Public Information Statement
Tennessee - Flood Warning , Flood Advisory
Texas - Flood Warning , Flood Warning, Areal Flood Warning , Areal Flood Warning , Record Report , Public Information Statement
Vermont - Public Information Statement
Virginia - Public Information Statement
West Virginia - Public Information Statement
Wyoming - Special Statement