Staying Safe As Severe Weather Returns - News, Sports and Weather

Staying Safe As Severe Weather Returns

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Days Since Last Tornado Warning Days Since Last Tornado Warning
Montana Tornadoes Montana Tornadoes
Montana Winds Montana Winds
Montana Hail Montana Hail
I sure do miss the sound of thunder and it's about to become much more common as Severe Weather Season arrives and the skies of Big Sky Country can see the full spectrum of storms.

"We get the full variety of severe weather here in Montana.  You know, we get the high winds with the stronger thunderstorms.  We get large hail, flash flooding and we do even get tornadoes," said Zach Uttech, a National Weather Service Meteorologist.

The National Weather Service put out graphics showing we have seen quite a few tornadoes in the last 60 plus years.  High winds are even more common in relation to thunderstorms and plenty of places in the Treasure State see damaging hail.  These ingredients all contribute to the definition of a severe thunderstorm.

"So a severe thunderstorm would be quantified as a storm that's producing wind gusts of 58 mph or greater.  Severe hail would be one inch in diameter or greater.  Thinking about a tornado warning, we will issue those without necessarily getting a report of a tornado on the ground but what we'll see in our radar image is a really tight circulation," said Uttech.

When severe weather does threaten, it's best to be inside, especially an interior area like a hallway or if you can get yourself in a tighter spot like a bathroom in a bathtub or a closet, you're going to have yourself the safest bet.

But what happens if you're out driving and can't get inside when the storm strikes.

If you're stuck out on the road and a tornado's threatening, a lot of people assume you should get up a highway overpass but don't.  It can actually be even more dangerous as wind and debris get funneled through there.

If you can't drive your way out of the path of an incoming twister, you're actually better off abandoning your car and lying flat in a ditch and covering your head.

It's been less than three hundred days since a tornado warning has been issued for most regions of Montana, so always prepare for severe weather to strike to avoid a serious tragedy.
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