Introductory Meteorology

Lesson 9. Severe Weather


a tornado
A tornado touches down south of Byers, Colorado.
Credit: Joyce Babb

Most people recognize that weather has some sort of impact on their daily lives, but many people underestimate the ways that weather can create life-or-death situations. Sadly, we see lots of cases on the nightly news in which unsuspecting individuals were affected by weather with tragic results. So, what can you do? Certainly, no one can foresee a freak event that catches everyone off guard. But, can you arm yourself with weather awareness and weather knowledge such that if a dangerous situation arises you will know what to do? I believe so.

This lesson is all about severe weather. We will look at various types of threatening weather like hail, flash flooding, and tornadoes. You will also learn about the types of conditions and storms that produce these phenomena. Finally, you will also learn safety tips that you can use to avoid becoming a victim of severe weather. Properly used, I believe that this knowledge will make you more aware of potential severe weather threats, and if severe weather occurs in your area, you will know what to do in order to minimize the threat to you and your family. Let's get started.