Don't be fooled by this week's cool down, summer is fast approaching! The unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day, is only a week away.
Before you gear up for longer days spent outside, make sure you know how to stay safe. Below is a list of potential hazards you could face in the coming months. If you prepare now, you can have fun this summer without worry!
- Severe Weather
- Summertime storms can pack a big punch. A combination of heat and gulf moisture can lead to brief, but powerful, severe storms. Don't let your gaurd down just because our official severe weather season is during spring. Check over our detailed guide to severe weather preparation one more time before summer gets underway!
- Summer is peak lightning season. Lightning leads to hundreds of severe injuries a year and has an average yearly death toll of 47. Any storm can produce lightning, so if storms are in the forecast be ready to pack up and go inside. When thunder roars, go indoors!
- Living near a major river like the Tennessee River means we need to be prepared in the event of a flood. Consider recent rainfall and expected rainfall before heading out to the river.
- Flash flooding can become a problem during summertime storms too. A heavy downpour could lead to flooded roadways. NEVER try to drive through floodwaters. It only takes 2ft of rushing water to carry away most vehicles.
- Drought is a topic we've become familiar with over the past year. If drought redevelops consider conserving water even if you're not required to.
- If we don't fall back into a severe drought, still keep in mind what conditions are like before burning or firing up the grill. Have we received a good amount of rain recently? Are winds high enough to spread fire easily? Remember, it's better to skip burning during dry periods.
- Averaged over the past 30 years, heat is the number one culprit among weather related fatalities. Listen to your body and take it seriously.
- Stay hydrated. Opt for water anytime you're outdoors.
- Keep the sunscreen handy at all times and take a break in the shade periodically.
- During heat waves, check on your neighbors to make sure everyone's air conditioner is working and that they're alright.
- Long stretches of hot and dry weather can cause the risk of wildfires to go up quickly.
- If you notice a fire, always report it to the Alabama Forestry Commission immediately.
- If conditions have been dry, make sure you contact campsites before heading out to make sure it's safe to be spending time near wooded areas.
- Rip Currents
- We're only a day's drive from the Gulf Coast, so you might already be planning a few weekend stays there. Stay safe by going to beaches where lifeguards are on duty.
- Look out for rip currents, which are strong currents that flow away from shore and can carry you out farther than is safe. Rip currents can occur on calm sunny days, so check the local forecast for wherever you're going to find the rip current risk that day.
You can always find your detailed forecast at whnt.com/weather.
You can also take WHNT with you on the go with the Live Alert 19 App.
Have fun and be safe this summer!