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New York weather: Pea-sized hail and thunderstorms expected in New York City on Wednesday

New York weather: Pea-sized hail and thunderstorms expected in New York City on Wednesday

At 9:01 p.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm report that was expected to continue until 9:30 p.m. for Onondaga, Madison and Cortland counties.

During storms, wind gusts may reach speeds of up to 80 km/h and hail may be the size of a pea (0.6 cm).

“At 9:01 p.m., Doppler radar was tracking a severe thunderstorm over Tully, 12 miles north of Cortland, moving northeast at 55 mph,” the weather service said. “Gusting winds could down trees and blow away unsecured objects. Minor vegetation damage from hail is possible.”

The alert applies to the following towns: Sullivan, Pompey, Eaton, Chittenango, Canastota, Hamilton, Cazenovia, Morrisville, Nelson and Preble.

According to the weather service, “If you are outside, consider sheltering indoors.”

Preparing for approaching lightning: expert safety tips

Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times each year, with most of these electrifying events occurring during the summer months. Tragically, lightning is responsible for about 20 deaths per year, according to the Weather Service. The threat from lightning increases as storms approach, peaking when the storm is directly overhead and gradually weakening as it moves away.

To stay safe during a storm, follow these recommendations:

Lightning Safety Plan:

  • When going outdoors, have a clear plan for how to find shelter in the event of a storm.
  • Monitor the sky for signs of danger and listen for the sound of thunder. If thunder is heard, it is a sign that lightning is nearby.
  • Immediately seek shelter in a safe place, preferably indoors.

Indoor safety measures:

  • Once you have found shelter indoors, refrain from using landlines, electrical appliances, and plumbing fixtures, and stay away from windows and doors.
  • These precautions help reduce the risk of electrical surges because lightning can travel along conductive paths.

Wait for the alarm signal:

  • After the last lightning strike or thunder, wait at least 30 minutes before resuming outdoor activity.
  • Keep in mind that lightning can strike even after a storm has passed, so exercise caution.

When it is not possible to take shelter in an enclosed space:

If you find yourself outdoors during a storm and do not have access to shelter in your home, take these steps to ensure your maximum safety:

  • Avoid open fields, hilltops and mountain ridges as they are more susceptible to lightning strikes.
  • Stay away from tall, isolated trees and other visible objects. In wooded areas, stay close to lower tree stands.
  • If you are in a group, make sure that individuals maintain an appropriate distance to prevent lightning current from being transmitted from person to person.
  • Camping outdoors during a thunderstorm is strongly discouraged. If you have no alternative, camp in a valley, ravine, or other low-lying areas. Remember that a tent does not provide protection against lightning.
  • Do not go near bodies of water, wet objects or metal objects. Water and metal do not attract lightning, but they conduct electricity effectively and can pose a serious risk.

In conclusion, when faced with a lightning threat, preparation and vigilance are your best allies. By following these guidelines, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of lightning-related incidents and prioritize your safety.

Rainy roads ahead: essential safety tips for heavy rain

When heavy rain falls, the risk of flooding and dangerous roads increases. Here’s a guide from the weather service on how to stay safe during downpours:

Beware of rapid water flow:

During heavy rains, avoid parking or walking near culverts and drainage ditches, where rapidly flowing water can pose a serious hazard.

Keep a safe distance while driving:

Use the two-second rule to keep a safe distance from the car in front of you, and in heavy rain add an extra two seconds.

Slow down and drive carefully:

On wet roads, slowing down is key. Ease off the gas pedal gradually and avoid hard braking to avoid skidding.

Choose your lane wisely:

On multi-lane roads, stay in the middle lanes to minimise the risk of aquaplaning as water tends to collect in the outside lanes.

Visibility matters:

Turn on your lights and watch out for other vehicles behind you and in your blind spot. They are especially difficult to see through rain-spattered windows.

Beware of slippery roads:

Be especially careful during the first half hour after the rain begins. Dirt and oil on the road surface mix with the water, making the road slippery.

Keep a safe distance from large vehicles:

Don’t follow large trucks or buses too closely. The spray from their large tires reduces visibility. Also, be careful when passing them; if you have to pass them, do so quickly and safely.

Remember your wipers:

Overloaded wipers can make it difficult to see. If rain is seriously impeding visibility, pull over to the side of the road and wait until conditions improve. Seek shelter in parking lots or sheltered areas.

If the only option is the hard shoulder, pull as far as you can, preferably beyond the end of the guardrail, and wait for the storm to pass. Keep your headlights on and use your hazard warning lights to warn other drivers of your position.

In the face of heavy rain, these precautions can make a significant difference in keeping you safe on the road. Be sure to stay up to date with weather conditions and follow local government advice to ensure a safe journey.

Advance Local Weather Alerts is a service provided by United Robots that uses machine learning to compile the latest data from the National Weather Service.