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Why Is a Summer Storm So Dangerous?

large bolts of lightning coming down during a storm
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On average, the United States has 10.1 named storms each season, with about 5.9 becoming hurricanes and 2.5 becoming major hurricanes. The most active season was 2020, during which 30 named storms occurred. Even though storms can occur at any time of the year, thunderstorms typically develop in spring and summer. So what makes a summer storm so dangerous?

Why Do Storms Occur In Summer?

To answer this question, it is important to understand how storms are formed.

Two main elements cause a storm to develop: moisture and rapidly rising warm air. A high moisture level and heat waves cause an unstable atmosphere that triggers lightning and thunder. For this reason, storms are especially common in humid areas of the United States, including such southeastern states as Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

Also, summer storms typically develop and occur in the afternoon when the sun touches air near the ground. If the atmosphere is unstable, warm air will produce clouds, precipitation, and lightning.

Summer storms are usually more intense and shorter than winter storms. On average, a summer storm lasts about an hour, and the main problem with summer storms is the intensity with which they fall. They are also more energetic, occur more often, and can produce a large number of strikes in the same event.

What Are the Types of Storms?

Some storms are more severe and intense than others, depending on what type they are. Even though summer storms have similar life cycles, they vary in size and impact. Here are the main four types of storms:

  • Single-cell thunderstorms. These storms are the shortest and usually last between 30 and 60 minutes. They are often called “pulse” storms because they build up quickly and then dissipate. Single-cell storms are usually characterized by lightning, heavy rain, and thunder.
  • Multi-cell thunderstorms. They usually consist of a group of single storms that work together by forming a cluster. A multi-cell summer storm is usually more intense than a single-cell storm and can last for a few hours. These storms usually produce strong winds, hail, and heavy rain.
  • Squall line storms. It is a very intense type of thunderstorm that can span hundreds of miles. When squall line storms occur, you can expect heavy rainfall, tornadoes, and lightning. However, the biggest threat with these storms is strong straight-line winds. These thunderstorms are especially common in the Midwest.
  • Supercell storms. These storms are the most dangerous and severe types of summer storms. The main feature of this type is its rotating updraft called a mesocyclone. It can prolong the life of a storm and make it more organized. This organization often causes organized rotation and even tornadoes. Supercell storms can also cause other types of severe weather, including damaging winds, large hail, and flooding. These storms are not very common, but they are the most intense. Sometimes, they can last for hours by causing serious damage.

a lightning strike during a thunder storm

Are You and Your Home Ready for a Summer Storm Season?

Summer is coming, and you are probably looking forward to enjoying the beautiful summer weather. Unfortunately, summer weather is not always beautiful, and summer months are also associated with storms. If you are a homeowner, you should prepare for severe weather. Here is what you need to do:

Trim the Trees Around Your Property

Falling trees and limbs are a very common cause of property damage that is associated with storms. The good news is that you can prevent this damage if you trim and prune trees by removing broken and dead branches that are too close to your house. If you have any dead trees on your property, it is better to remove them completely as there is a high chance that they can fall during violent summer storms.

Check Your Roof

Many homeowners do not even inspect the roof of their properties until it starts leaking, which is a big mistake. While preparing for the summer storm season, make sure to walk around your home and see if there is any visible roof damage, such as punctures in the roof, missing shingles, or cracks. You should check all potential entry points, including vents, chimneys, and skylights. It is also a good idea to hire a roofing company to conduct a professional roof inspection.

Check and Clean the Gutters

Another thing that many homeowners forget to check is gutters. It is important to make sure that the gutters are clean and free of any debris. If they are clogged, there is a high risk that they can fall during a storm. As a result, water will start backing up underneath shingles and leaking into your home. If you find any issues with the gutters, you should call a gutter or roofing expert immediately to solve these problems.

Safeguard Your Electronics

If you have a wide range of electronics, you should consider installing house-wide surge protection instead of getting multiple surge protector power strips. If there is a hurricane or storm warning, you should move your electronics away from the windows. This includes televisions, lamps, gaming systems, musical instruments, speakers, and others. If you decide to keep your refrigerator running, it is better to set it on the coolest setting, so your food remains cold longer in the event of a power outage.

Prepare a Basic Emergency Kit

During major storms, people are often left without basic services, such as electricity, sewage, water, and gas for several hours or even days. Therefore, it is important to prepare a basic emergency kit for yourself and your family members. The kit should contain enough food, water, and other necessary supplies for at least three days.

Create a Home Inventory

Creating a home inventory is always a good idea because it will help you get back on your feet faster. You short start by taking a video of your home and personal belongings. Make sure to write down the serial numbers and models. Also, do not forget to tour the exterior of your house and capture your outdoor furniture and other items in your backyard, including a swimming pool, trampoline, and other unattached structures.

Brown shutters installed on the windows of a white building.

Protect Your Windows

One of the best and most effective ways to prepare your windows for a storm season and protect them from possible damage is to install storm shutters. They are permanently attached to a house, and all you need to do when a storm is approaching is to pull them into place. They can be quite expensive, but it is one of the best and easiest solutions.

You can also invest in hurricane-rated windows. If you install these windows, no other extra steps are needed when you know that a storm is coming. These windows are designed to withstand severe winds, and they are available in different styles, so you will be able to find the design that will work perfectly with your house.

Elevate Your Home

A severe summer storm can cause serious and costly foundation damage, so elevating your house is one of the most effective ways to protect your property from floods caused by storms. However, it is important to plan it out because the process of lifting a house takes a minimum of four weeks. It is also important to understand that elevating a house is a complicated process, so you will need to find experts specializing in it.

Make Sure to Have Proper Insurance

Another way to protect your property against storms is having home insurance. Even though home insurance cannot prevent damages to your home and personal belongings, it will pay for repairs caused by a storm.

If you have home insurance, take your time and review your policy to make sure that it covers possible damage. Keep in mind that standard home insurance policies do not cover damage caused by floods. Therefore, you may want to consider purchasing flood insurance as well.

ONIT Home – Best Homeowners Insurance Customized to Your Needs

Are you currently preparing for a storm season and shopping for home insurance? At ONIT Home, we work hard to help you find the best coverage based on your individual needs and budget. Our qualified and experienced insurance agents will analyze and compare different home insurance policies to help you find the best choice customized specially for you.

If you have any questions, or you want to discuss the policies available, do not hesitate to reach out to us and talk to one of our digital agents. The mission of ONIT Home is to make sure you are covered and protected during a storm or any other severe weather event. Call us today at 1-833-433-0331 to get started!

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