North Texas Severe Thunderstorm Warning Updates for Thursday | Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The National Weather Service issued an updated severe thunderstorm warning at 3 p.m. on Thursday valid until 3:30 p.m. The warning is for Bosque, Ellis, Hill and Johnson counties. The storms are expected to bring wind gusts of up to 65 mph and quarter-sized hail (1 inch).

“At 2:59 p.m., a severe thunderstorm was located near Covington, or 11 miles northwest of Hillsboro, moving southeast at 30 mph,” says the NWS. “Hail damage to vehicles is expected. Expect wind damage to roofs, siding, and trees.”

The following locations may be affected by the thunderstorm:
– Hillsboro around 3:10 p.m.
– Aquilla Lake around 3:15 p.m.

Other locations impacted by this severe thunderstorm include Lovelace, Eulogy, Milford, Rio Vista, Parker, Kopperl, Brazos Point, Cedar Shores, Avalon, and Brandon.

The NWS comments, “For your protection stay inside a sturdy structure and keep away from windows. Heavy rainfall is occurring with this storm, and may lead to flash flooding. Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways.”

Actions to take when lightning threat is imminent

Around 25 million lightning strikes occur in the United States every year, with most taking place during the summer months. The NWS reports that these strikes result in about 20 fatalities annually. The probability of lightning strikes rises as a thunderstorm approaches and peaks when the storm is directly above. As the storm moves away, this likelihood decreases.

Here are tips on how to stay safe during a thunderstorm:
– To decrease the risk of getting struck by lightning, when you go outside, establish a plan to reach a safer place.
– If the sky becomes menacing and thunder becomes audible, seek out a safe place to seek shelter.
– Once inside, avoid contact with corded phones, electrical equipment, plumbing, and windows and doors.
– Wait for 30 minutes after the final lightning or thunder before heading outside again.

If finding indoor shelter is not an option:
– Stay away from open fields, hill summits, or ridge tops.
– Keep a distance from tall, isolated trees or other elevated objects. If in a forest, stay close to lower trees.
– When in a group, space out to prevent the current from transferring between individuals.
– If you are camping in an open area, set up camp in a valley, ravine, or other low area. Remember, a tent offers no protection from lighting.
– Keep a distance from water, wet articles, and metal objects. While water and metal do not draw lightning, they are proficient conductors of electricity.

What steps to follow when driving in the rain?
– Turn on your headlights — Even when it’s light outside, using headlights can improve visibility and alert other drivers to your presence.
– While on the road — Opt for the middle lanes and remain on higher ground. Rainwater tends to gather along the road edges.
– Avoid puddles — Driving into puddles or low rainwater areas can lead to vehicles hydroplaning or losing control.
– Give ample space to large vehicles — Trucks or buses can create a water spray that diminishes 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 is the term for when a vehicle begins sliding 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 top three contributors to hydroplaning are:
1. Vehicle speed
2. Water depth
3. Tire tread depth

In the event of your vehicle hydroplaning, here’s what to know:
– Ease off the accelerator
– Turn into the skid
– Make sure the tires reconnect with the road
– Brake gently as needed

Source: The National Weather Service

This story was originally published May 30, 2024, 2:15 PM.