EUGENE, Ore. — Severe Weather Awareness week continues Wednesday with a focus on strong winds, hail and lightning.
Strong winds, large hail and lightning are three threatening weather phenomena that can be found in thunderstorms.
Straight line winds are caused as cool air sinks rapidly inside a thunderstorm, hits the ground and spreads out from the area. Winds can be as strong as 100 mph, or even stronger. These winds are known as macrobursts (or microbursts when less than 2.5 miles in diameter) and can be detrimental for aircrafts and can also causes extensive damage.
Hail is not uncommon in Oregon; it forms as liquid water that freezes in the cold upper levels of a storm. Hailstones can vary from pea-size to larger than softballs. The main threat of hailstones is damage to crops, vehicles and buildings.
Lightning is also a dangerous aspect of a thunderstorm; it can strike as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. A rule of thumb is if thunder can be heard, the storm is close enough that lightning could strike that location.
The best way to protect against any of these severe weather phenomena is to stay indoors.
You can find more information about wind, hail and lightning, here.