Skip Navigation Linkswww.nws.noaa.gov/er/mhx 
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA homepage National Weather Service Forecast Office   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS homepage
NWS Newport/Morehead City, NC
Hazardous Weather Banner  

Thunderstorm Wind Gust Hazards

RISK LEVEL
HAZARD DESCRIPTION
Low
  • Chance of a damaging wind gust (>57 mph or 50 kt) is in the 5-15% range.
  • Strong wind gusts expected to be in the 39 to 57 mph (34-49 kt) range.
Moderate
  • Chance of a damaging wind gust (>57 mph or 50 kt) is in the 15-25% range.
  • Damaging wind gusts expected to be in the 58 to 75 mph (50-64 kt) range.
High
  • Chance of a damaging wind gust (>57 mph or 50 kt) is greater than 25%.
  • Destructive wind gusts expected to exceed 75 mph (64 kt) range.

General Information

Strong winds in thunderstorms are often referred to as straight-line winds, downbursts, or microbursts.

Strong winds in thunderstorms often originate high up in the atmosphere, but are carried to the surface in downdrafts of rain cooled air.

Strong thunderstorm winds can exceed 100 mph and cause damage equal to a tornado. Strong thunderstorm winds are also very dangerous to aviation.

For additional information visit:

NWS Storm Prediction Center

Thunderstorm Safety Tips:

    Before Lightning Strikes...

  • Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light, or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for the latest weather forecasts.

    When a Storm Approaches...

  • Find shelter in a building or car. Keep car windows closed and avoid convertibles.
  • Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. (Leaving electric lights on, however, does not increase the chances of your home being struck by lightning.)
  • Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
  • Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor, resulting in a costly repair job!
  • Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.
  • If Caught Outside...

  • If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately!
  • Protecting Yourself Outside...

  • Go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles, or metal objects. Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.
  • Be a very small target! Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible.
  • Do not lie flat on the ground--this will make you a larger target!
  • After the Storm Passes...

  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
  • Listen to the radio for information and instructions.
  • If Someone is Struck by Lightning...

  • People struck by lightning carry no electrical charge and can be handled safely.
  • Call for help. Get someone to dial 9-1-1 or your local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) number.
  • The injured person has received an electrical shock and may be burned, both where they were struck and where the electricity left their body. Check for burns in both places. Being struck by lightning can also cause nervous system damage, broken bones, and loss of hearing or eyesight.
  • Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, look and care for other possible injuries. Learn first aid and CPR by taking a Red Cross first aid and CPR course. call your local Red Cross chapter for class schedules and fees.

This Outlook is an Experimental Product for Planning purposes Only!!!

The local tornado hazard graphics are valid for roughly a 24 hour period from the time of issuance (between 4 AM and 6 AM) until 8 AM the following morning. The highest expected risk possible for the duration of the graphic will be depicted. Only one of the listed criteria needs to be met fo inclusion in a higher risk category

Updates will be posted for significant forecast changes and as time permits. As the weather threat increases throughout the day, or becomes imminent, tornado watches and/or warnings will be issued.

The outlook graphics are an effort to improve the interpretation of our outlooks and statements. This product is provided for emergency managers, law enforcement, schools, local media, businesses, and the public. Use the graphical hazardous weather outlook to factor the threat of hazardous weather into your daily plans.


DISCLAIMER: This is an experimental service designed to supplement pre-existing, official means of communication. Timeliness and reliability of products obtained from the Internet are not guaranteed.

Click here for a detailed product description.
Click here to complete a customer feedback survey for this experimental product.
Send e-mail with your comments and suggestions to John Cole.
This project is being developed in an effort to achieve goals set forth in the National Weather Service's Strategic Plan.

Updated 7/13/2004