BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Hail appears in all forms and shapes. They can have the size of quarter up to the size of baseballs.
When raindrops get carried by an updraft into colder layers of the atmosphere, they freeze. The higher up they are taken the bigger the hail gets. When the downdraft eventually hits, the hail falls down and we experience a hail storm.
There is a significant threat for hail in the Birmingham area on Thursday afternoon, so here are some safety tips to consider.
- STAY TUNED
Hail often appears during severe weather, such as thunderstorms.
Tune in to radio to keep yourself updated with the latest news about the weather.
If possible, use a battery powered radio, since the storm can affect electrical services.
- GO INSIDE
As the storm approaches, move your car into the garage, bring your pets inside and stay indoors.
Close all shades, blinds and drapes to prevent broken window, glass and hailstones from coming inside.
Move to the basement, cellar or other levels not directly under the roof.
Stay inside until the storm is over.
- SLOW DOWN
Since hail storms are often accompanied by severe weather, the road might be slippery.
If you are driving, slow down and keep an extra distance for breaking. Be cautious at intersections.
Turn on your headlights at low beams.
- FIND SHELTER
Watch out and stay away from trees on the side of the roads, which can fall onto your car.
Pull your car to a safe place, such as overpasses or shoulders.
If you have no way to go inside, stay in your car until the storm is over. Try to lie down with your back to the windows.
Cover yourself with a blanket to protect yourself from pieces of glass and other debris.
Keep your car angled so the hail is hitting the front of the car, which is reinforced to resist forward-driving and pelting objects.
- AVOID DANGER
Don’t touch downed power lines or anything in contact with a power line.
Do not touch people who may have been in contact with a downed power line. Call 911 and report to an electrical service, who can take care of the situation.
Additionally, high winds can develop into dangerous storms. They can make driving difficult and cause power problems, damage of property and also danger for people’s health and safety.
Strong rushes of wind from a thunderstorm can easily overturn vehicles, tear off roofs and topple trees.
To keep you and your family safe during wind storms, check out the following safety tips:
- Stay tuned to CBS42 for weather updates when the weather is severe.
- Stay indoors. Postpone any activities that are held outside if a warning has been issued.
- Secure your property. Make sure to bring in all loose objects from balconies and patios and stay away from windows and objects that could fall.
- Shutter windows securely and brace outside doors.
- Turn off the stove if you are cooking and natural gas appliances in the case that the power goes off.
- Go to lower floors in multi-story houses.
- If you are driving, keep both hands on the wheel and slow down. Stop driving if possible and pull away from trees. Go to the shoulder of the road and wait until the storm is over. Turn your headlights on.
- Watch out for flying debris.
- Avoid downed power lines, overpasses and other hazards.
- Don’t touch anything in contact with downed power lines. If a power line touched your car, honk to warn others and call 911.
- Don’t touch people who may have been in contact with power lines. Call 911.
- Check on your neighbors after the bad weather passes, especially if they are eldery.
- Keep your pets inside.
- Make sure you know the safety and evacuation procedures in your area.
Beatrice Bode contributed to this report.