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Public Information Statement
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000
NOUS42 KCAE 121031
PNSCAE
SCZ015-016-018-020>022-025>031-035>038-041-131200-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE COLUMBIA SC
635 AM EST THU MAR 12 2015

...SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK DAY FOUR...
...DOWNBURSTS...HAIL AND FLASH FLOODING...

IN ADDITION TO THE HAZARDS OF LIGHTNING AND OCCASIONAL TORNADOES, 
OTHER DANGERS SUCH AS DOWNBURSTS, HAIL, AND FLASH FLOODING ACCOMPANY 
THUNDERSTORMS.

DOWNBURSTS, WHICH ARE A RELATIVELY SMALL DOWNDRAFT OF AIR RESULTING 
IN STRONG WINDS, NORMALLY OCCUR IN ADVANCE OF THE MAIN THUNDERSTORM 
AND ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MOST THUNDERSTORM WIND DAMAGE.  WINDS IN A 
DOWNBURST CAN BE AS STRONG AS 140 MPH.  THIS TYPE OF WIND CAN CAUSE 
DAMAGE EQUIVALENT TO A STRONG TORNADO AND IS ESPECIALLY DANGEROUS TO 
AVIATION. A NUMBER OF TRAGIC PLANE CRASHES IN THE PAST HAVE BEEN 
ATTRIBUTED TO DOWNBURSTS.

ANOTHER DANGER IN THUNDERSTORMS IS LARGE HAIL.  HAIL IS GENERALLY 
SMALLER THAN A GOLF BALL BUT CAN REACH THE SIZE OF A BASEBALL, 
SOFTBALL, OR EVEN A GRAPEFRUIT, PARTICULARLY IN THE PLAINS STATES. 
HAIL CAUSES NEARLY 1 BILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGE TO PROPERTY AND CROPS 
ANNUALLY.  THE COSTLIEST UNITED STATES HAILSTORM OCCURRED IN EASTERN 
KANSAS AND MISSOURI ON APRIL 10, 2001 WHEN A STORM MOVED ALONG THE 
I-70 CORRIDOR AND PRODUCED OVER 2 BILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGE.  THE 
LAST KNOWN HAIL FATALITY OCCURRED ON MARCH 29, 2000 IN LAKE WORTH 
TEXAS WHEN A 19 YEAR OLD MAN WAS HIT IN THE HEAD BY SOFTBALL SIZE 
HAIL.

A RARE EVENT...IN THE SUMMER OF 2010 A NEW RECORD WAS SET FOR THE 
LARGEST HAILSTONE RECOVERED WHEN A VOLLEYBALL SIZE HAIL STONE FELL 
NEAR VIVIAN SOUTH DAKOTA.  THE STONE WAS 8 INCHES IN DIAMETER AND 
WEIGHED ABOUT 2 POUNDS!

THE NUMBER ONE WEATHER KILLER, WITH AN AVERAGE OF 95 FATALITIES EACH 
YEAR, IS FLOODING AND FLASH FLOODING.  MOST DEATHS IN FLASH FLOODING 
OCCUR AT NIGHT AND WHEN PEOPLE BECOME TRAPPED IN THEIR AUTOMOBILES.  
ONE IMPORTANT SAFETY RULE THAT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STRESSES 
IS TO NOT DRIVE YOUR CAR INTO AREAS WHERE WATER COVERS THE ROAD.  
MANY PEOPLE LOSE THEIR LIVES EACH YEAR IN THIS WAY.  TURN AROUND, 
DONT DROWN.

TOMORROW, A CHECKLIST OF SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY RULES.








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