Hazardous weather conditions can be packed into very concentrated zones in and around thunderstorms. Hazards include high winds, straight-line winds, large hail, icing, lightning, tornadoes, heavy rain and poor visibility.
Thunderstorms affect relatively small areas when compared with hurricanes and winter storms. The typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes. Despite their small size, ALL thunderstorms are dangerous!
Severe thunderstorm notifications and convective outlooks (AC) are issued by the National Weather Service's (NWS) Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma and have different order of severity.
When it comes to severe thunderstorms, it's better to take caution and seek shelter in a substantial building or storm shelter, as tornadoes can form very quickly. There are certain recommended actions that can help through each stage of a Severe Thunderstorm emergency.
Severe Thunderstorm vulnerability depends on the incidence of and societal exposure to them for a particular location. The greatest potential for severe weather develops in geographical regions that are subject to warm, humid air at low levels, while dry, conditionally unstable air prevails aloft and are most likely to occur in the spring and summer and during the afternoon and evening.