Severe Weather 101

Questions and answers about weather phenomena, including tornadoes, thunderstorms, lightning, hail, floods, damaging winds and winter weather.

Thunderstorms

There can be as many as 40,000 thunderstorms each day around the world. They are most common in the U.S., where they can produce tornadoes, floods, lightning and damaging winds.

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Tornadoes

Much about tornadoes remains a mystery. They are rare, unpredictable and deadly. The U.S. has more tornadoes than anywhere else in the world.

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Floods

Except for heat-related fatalities, more deaths occur from flooding than any other weather-related hazard.

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Lightning

Lightning is one of the oldest observed natural phenomena on earth. At the same time, it also is one of the least understood.

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Hail

Hail can cause billions of dollars of damage to structures, crops and livestock.

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Damaging Winds

Straight-line winds are responsible for most thunderstorm damage. These winds can cause as much damage as a tornado.

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Winter Weather

Forecasting winter weather accurately is very difficult because a degree or two of temperature change can mean the difference between snow or freezing rain.

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