Public Information Statement  Statement as of 4:05 PM CST on March 5, 2015

... Illinois and Missouri severe weather awareness week...
... Severe thunderstorm day...

Severe thunderstorms pose a threat to life and property. They
produce large destructive hail... one inch in diameter or greater...
and/or damaging wind gusts of 50 nautical miles per hour (58 mph)
or greater. Flooding rains... frequent cloud to ground
lightning... and tornadoes are also possible in severe thunderstorms.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means severe thunderstorms are possible
in the next few hours. Be prepared.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning means a thunderstorm capable of
causing property damage and injury has been sighted or detected by
radar. Move to a safe building and stay away from windows.

Damaging straight line or downburst winds from a thunderstorm can
do as much damage as a weak to moderate tornado... so take severe
thunderstorm warnings seriously.

Very large hail... golfball or larger... is a major cause of property
damage in the United States every year. Protect your property if you
can... but make sure you get inside a safe structure to protect
yourself from the hail.

Lightning is the most frequent important weather threat to personal
safety during the thunderstorm season. Keep these lightning safety
tips in mind.

Plan ahead and avoid dangerous lightning situations. Check the
latest forecast before going outdoors for extended periods. Watch
for storms and seek shelter indoors when storms approach.

Lightning often strikes the tallest object. If caught outdoors
during a storm... dont stand next to tall trees or power poles. And
dont be out in an open area where you may be the tallest object. A
closed... hard top metal vehicle is safe in a thunderstorm. An open
structure such as a picnic shelter will keep you dry but it will
not protect you from lightning.

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