Weather Myths & Facts

A bunch of weather myths and facts.

Should You Open Windows During A Tornado?

A long standing tornado myth states that if you open windows duringĀ  a tornado, it will prevent the roof from being blown off. There’s another myth that says you should only open north facing windows. I’m not sure where these myths originated, but they are both pretty silly. It’s really a matter of simple physics. Watch the small video to the left. Open windows would not have made difference and the outcome would have been exactly the same; the house would still have been destroyed. The roof on most well…
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Shape of a Rain Drop

raindrop shape

Rain drops are often drawn in books or shown on TV as being tear drop shaped. This isn’t true at all. In reality, the shape of a rain drop changes as its size gets bigger, and they are never shaped like a tear drop at any point during their life-cycle. They are actually spherically shaped when small and look more like a jelly-bean when they get larger. Their shape is a result of two things; water surface tension and wind resistance. An example of water surface tension would be the…
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Do Rubber Tires Prevent Lightning Strikes?

Most people believe the rubber tires on a car prevent lightning strikes. Ironically, it’s not the rubber tires insulating the car, but rather the conductive metal framing which protects you by conducting the electricity around the vehicle and its occupants. The truth is, rubber tires don’t prevent lightning strikes in the least bit. By the time a lightning bolt reaches your car, it has been traveling for miles through the air. The air is many orders of magnitude more resistant than a few inches of rubber. So if the lightning…
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Tornado Shelter – Southwest Corner of Basement?

Although a below ground basement is one of the safest places during a tornado, the southwest corner will provide no added protection unless there is more structural support as compared to the other corners. Anytime you can get below ground you are better off, but somewhat recent studies have shown that when a tornado passes over a house, debris tends to collect in all the corners of the basement. The origins of this myth that the southwest corner is the safest spot could be attributed to the belief that tornadoes…
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Highway Overpass Safe During a Tornado?

highway overpass

One myth that could potentially cost someone their life is the belief that a highway overpass provides safe shelter from tornadoes. This is a myth for reasons which may not be immediately obvious to some. It probably started when a video clip aired on national news showing family and a news crew running up and taking shelter beneath an overpass. This is not what you want to do and could prove fatal. Millions of people all across the country saw the below video and figured this to be the correct…
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Can Lightning Strike Me Inside My House?

lightning facts

Lightning cannot directly strike you if you’re inside your house. But the electricity produced by a lightning strike can travel through wires and other conductive surfaces. If you happen to be in contact with one of them, it’s possible you could can get electrocuted. In addition to outdoor fatalities caused by lightning, a number of people are injured indoors every year, including individuals who are using their landline telephone during a thunderstorm (Source: Medscape). Lightning is a master of trickery and can do some pretty strange things. But, the odds…
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Mandatory Hurricane Evacuation – Don’t Ride it Out!

Ignoring a hurricane evacuation order and riding it out is a very risky and potentially fatal decision for a number of reasons. Hurricanes are a very serious storm that should never be taken lightly. If local officials are telling you to evacuate, it’s best to take their advice and get out of harms way, regardless of how big the hurricane is or what type of house you live in. Hurricanes can travel great distances and have very irregular paths. As an example, in 1995, hurricane Roxanne had one of the…
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