Friday, March 29, 2013

National Severe Weather Awareness Week

National Severe Weather Awareness Week comes to an end - Did you know - 
  1. Tornadoes cause an average of 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries in the U.S. each year.
  2. Tornadoes may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms within the funnel. The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
  3. Straight-line winds are responsible for most thunderstorm wind damage.
  4. Lightning occurs in all thunderstorms; each year lightning strikes the United States 25 million times.
  5. Most lightning fatalities and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.
  6. The air near a lightning strike is heated to 50,000°F--hotter than the surface of the sun!
  7. Six inches of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet; a depth of two feet will cause most vehicles to float.
  8. Most flash flood fatalities occur at night and most victims are people who become trapped in automobiles.
  9. Hail causes more than $1 billion in damage to property and crops each year.
  10. Large hail stones fall at speeds faster than 100 mph.

Finally, according the the US Department of Transportation, on average, there are over 6,301,000 vehicle crashes each year.
  • 24% of these crashes—approximately 1,511,000—are weather-related. Weather-related crashes are defined as those crashes that occur in adverse weather (i.e., rain, sleet, snow, and/or fog) or on slick pavement (i.e., wet pavement, snowy/slushy pavement, or icy pavement). 
  • On average, 7,130 people are killed and over 629,000 people are injured in weather-related crashes each year.
    (Source: Fourteen-year averages from 1995 to 2008 analyzed by Noblis, based on NHTSA data)
 The vast majority of most weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement and during rainfall:
  • 75% on wet pavement
  • 47% and forty-seven during rainfall 
A much smaller percentage of weather-related crashes occur during winter conditions:
  • 15 % of crashes happen during snow or sleet
  • 13% occur on icy pavement 
  • 11% of weather-related crashes take place on snowy or slushy pavement
  • 3% happen in the presence of fog
    (Source: Fourteen-year averages from 1995 to 2008 analyzed by Noblis, based on NHTSA data).

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