Thunderstorms are a common occurrence across Nebraska, and if the right conditions exist, some will become severe. Recall that if a thunderstorm produces hail equal to or greater than three-quarters inch in diameter (penny size), winds equal to or greater than 58 miles per hour, or a tornado, it is considered severe.
Even though thunderstorms can and do occur at any time of the year, the most common time for thunderstorms, and especially severe thunderstorms, is during the spring, summer, and early fall. There are many dangerous aspects of thunderstorms, severe or not, that pose a threat to life and property.
Lightning - Occurs with ALL thunderstorms.
Floods - Kills more people on average than any other severe weather hazard.
Straight-Line Winds - Can exceed 100 miles per hour and cause damage equivalent to a tornado.
Large Hail - Causes millions of dollars each year in crop and property damage.
Tornadoes - Nature's most violent storm, with winds over 200 miles per hour possible.
Each year, many people are killed or seriously injured by tornadoes and severe thunderstorms despite advance warning. Some did not hear the warning, while others heard the warning but did not believe it would happen to them. The following preparedness information, combined with timely severe weather watches and warnings, could save your life. Once you receive a warning or observe threatening skies, YOU must make the decision to seek shelter before the storm arrives. It could be the most important decision you will ever make.
What do I do before the storm?