An updated report from the NWS Fort Worth TX on Sunday at 5:39 p.m. is warning residents of strong thunderstorms. The warning is for Denton, Tarrant, Dallas, Johnson and Ellis counties. Residents can expect wind gusts of up to 50 mph.
"At 5:38 p.m., Doppler radar tracked a series of strong thunderstorms across the Metroplex. The strongest storm was near Waxahachie, moving south at 5 mph. Two outflow boundaries are racing towards each other and may cause additional development and gusty winds," states the NWS. "Gusty winds could knock down tree limbs and blow around unsecured objects."
Locations impacted by the warning include Dallas, Arlington, Irving, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Mansfield, Euless, Desoto, Bedford, Grapevine, Cedar Hill, Keller, Coppell, Duncanville, Hurst, Lancaster, Waxahachie and Farmers Branch.
According to the NWS, "If outdoors, consider seeking shelter inside a building."
This warning is in effect until 6:15 p.m.
How to react when facing a lightning hazard?
Lightning hits the United States approximately 25 million times annually. The majority of these strikes happen during the summer, causing around 20 fatalities each year, according to the National Weather Service. The likelihood of lightning increases as a thunderstorm gets closer and reaches its highest point when the storm is directly overhead. This risk decreases as the storm moves away.
Here are tips on how to stay safe during a thunderstorm:
• To reduce the chance of being struck by lightning, when venturing outside, have a plan to get to a safer area.
• If the sky becomes menacing and thunder becomes audible, seek out a safe place to seek shelter.
• Once inside, abstain from touching corded phones, electrical devices, plumbing, and windows and doors.
• Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning or thunder before going back outside.
If finding indoor shelter is not an option:
• Avoid open fields, the top of a hill, or a ridge top.
• Avoid tall, isolated trees or other elevated objects. If you are in a forest, stick to areas with shorter tree cover.
• If you are in a group, spread out to avoid the current traveling between group members.
• If you are camping in an open space, choose a valley, ravine, or low area for your campsite. Remember, tents do not shield you from lightning.
• Do not approach water, wet objects, or metal items. Although water and metal do not attract lightning, they conduct electricity effectively.
Rainy weather driving tips
• Turn on headlights — Even in daylight, using headlights can help improve visibility and let other drivers know where you are.
• On the road — Drive in the middle lanes and stay on high ground. Rainwater tends to stockpile on the edges of roads.
• Avoid puddles — Driving into puddles or low rainwater areas can lead to vehicles hydroplaning or losing control.
• Don't tail large vehicles closely — Trucks or buses can kick up a water spray that obstructs visibility.
• Steer clear of flooded areas — When coming to a flooded road, turn around and head back. Flash flooding currents are strong and can sweep drivers off roadways. Driving through deep water can also affect a vehicle’s mechanical and electrical systems.
What is hydroplaning?
Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle begins to slide uncontrollably on wet roads.
This happens when water in front of the tire builds up faster than the vehicle’s weight can push water out of the way. The water pressure then causes the vehicle to rise and slide on a thin layer of water between the tires and the road, making the driver lose control. Hydroplaning is most commonly attributed to three factors:
1. Vehicle speed — When a vehicle’s speed increases, the tire-traction grip and ability to control the vehicle decreases. Drive at a reduced speed during wet weather.
2. Water depth — The deeper the water, the sooner a vehicle loses traction on the road. It doesn’t matter how deep the water is, even a thin layer can lead to hydroplaning.
3. Tire tread depth — Checking your tire tread before hitting the road is important, as low or no tread can lead to sliding.
In the event of your vehicle hydroplaning, here’s what to know:
• Ease off the accelerator — Step off the gas to slow down the vehicle until the tires find traction.
• Turn into the skid — Turning into the skid can help the vehicle’s tires realign to regain control.
• Make sure the tires reconnect with the road — During the skid, wait until the tires reconnect with the road and then gently straighten the wheels to regain control.
• Brake gently as needed — Brake normally if the vehicle has anti-lock brakes and pump brakes gently if in an older vehicle.
Source: The National Weather Service
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