Weather Hazards

Posted: March 15, 2018 | Author: Kevin Koontz | Read Time: 2 minutes

Bell tower on snowy campusBe mindful of the weather when hiking and participating in outdoor activity. Weather hazards include tornadoes, thunderstorms, lightning, and winter weather. It is important to identify warnings and dangers for each and know what to do when one is encountered.

Warnings: thunder, sudden cloudburst or enormous raindrops or hailstones, fast-moving cold-fronts, signs of highly charged air

Dangers: burns, shock, cardiac arrest, muscle spasms, brain and nerve damage, ruptured eardrums, death

What To Do: spread out, stay away from tall trees and water, lightning position (crouch) on top of your pack or boulder resting on top of other boulders

Flash Floods
Warnings: water suddenly gets deeper, faster, muddier, or beings carrying twigs, needles, or leaves; heavy storm in the area

Dangers: fast, high flowing water out of nowhere; swept off feet, abrasions, drowning, death

What To Do: immediately get to higher ground, evacuate to safe location

Warnings: high temperatures, dry terrain, windy, low humidity, dry lightning, unstable air

Dangers: smoke and ash inhalation, sever burns, death

What To Do: evacuate immediately, get to a safe area

Warnings: dark, often grey sky; wall clouds and approaching clouds of debris; large hail in absence of rain, calm before the storm

Dangers: flying debris, violent winds, severe body and property damage, death

What To Do: seek shelter; if no shelter, lie flat and face down on low ground; cover your head and neck with arms, get away from trees and cars

Warnings: no known signs, use caution

Dangers: extreme ground shaking, falling debris, liquefaction, flooding, fires, injury, death

What To Do: stay put, move away from buildings and other objects, remain calm until shaking stops, do not panic

Dust Storm
Warnings: giant wall of debris and dust approaching, high winds

Dangers: reduced visibility, flying debris, eye damage, respiratory problems, high winds, death

What To Do: seek coverage, go indoors if possible, pull over if in car, wait out the storm

Extreme Heat
Warnings: extreme high temperature, dry, hot, humid

Dangers: heat exhaustion, heat stroke, headache, dizziness, fatigue, rapid heart rate, unconsciousness, death

What To Do: cool off immediately, ice water immersion, hydrate, shade

High Winds
Warnings: unequal heating from the sun; high pressures move into low pressures; the bigger the difference between high and low pressure, the higher the wind speed

Dangers: flying debris, downed trees and broken branches; death

What To Do: find shelter, take cover inside if possible, stay clear of loose objects, stay away from trees

Hail Storm
Warnings: thunderstorm clouds present, gray clouds, rain, thunder, lightning, high moisture content and cloud layer at freezing temperatures

Dangers: welts, bodily injury, traumatic brain injury (TBI), death

What To Do: find shelter, cover up with any gear around if outside, wait out storm

Visit SUU Outdoors or contact the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative (IIC) for more information.

Tags: Outdoor Recreation Blog Outdoors SUU Outdoors

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