Thunderstorm Preparedness

Severe Thunderstorms

A severe thunderstorm by definition is a thunderstorm that produces 3/4 inch diameter hail or larger and/or winds equal or exceed 58 miles an hour. Severe thunderstorms are often accompanied by dangerous lightning, and may be capable of producing tornadoes or other damaging winds. Virginia averages 35 to 45 thunderstorm days per year.

Lightening Strikes

Between 1998 and 2008; 9 Virginian's were killed by lightening.


When thunder roars go indoors. Seek safe shelter - enclosed, grounded building - tents, picnic pavilions and porches are not good shelters

Use Your Brain-Don't Wait For Rain

  • Lightning can strike up to 15 miles away from a thunderstorm and rain.
  • If outdoors participating in - soccer, softball, swimming, lacrosse, baseball, football, golf, etc, seek shelter.
  • Non-convertible automobile - windows closed!

If Shelter is Not Possible

  • Avoid open spaces
  • Assume lightning desperation position
  • Get as low as possible
  • Get away from trees