ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dangers Associated with Thunderstorms

Updated on June 30, 2015

Thunderstorms are generally rain showers that contain thunder and lightning. One simple way to identify a thunderstorm is by looking at its cumulonimbus clouds that are white and towering high into the sky. Hail, high winds or tornadoes may accompany in thunderstorms, especially those that are severe. In the United States alone, approximately 100,000 of thunderstorms occur annually, yet only ten percent reach severe limits. In order for the storms to be severe, there need to be a tornado, winds blowing at the rate of 58 mph or more (about 93 kph), or 3/4-inch (19 mm) hail.

While thunderstorms are indeed exciting to study, they are still dangerous. Thunderstorm-related deaths have been reported each year; causes of death are usually from lightning strikes and flash flooding. People spending time outdoors can hear the first rumbles of thunder before torrential rains and high winds arrive. Whenever a thunderstorm arrives, go inside.


Sadly, hundreds of people are injured by lightning yearly. Avoid standing underneath trees or other tall objects that lightning may strike. Even the most intense lightning can slice a tree and let that fall onto cars. Sometimes it can mess up power lines, leaving a number of homes and businesses without power. Keep in mind that whenever you hear thunder, you could be close enough to be struck by lightning, so seek shelter promptly.

Lightning brightening the skies in Norman, Oklahoma.
Lightning brightening the skies in Norman, Oklahoma.


Severe hailstorms can also create problems. If a hailstone is about two inches (five centimeters) in diameter, that is big enough to cause injuries. Large hailstones can also cause cracks and dents onto vehicles. So people need to head to a sturdy shelter to avoid possible injuries during a hailstorm.

Sometimes during a thunderstorm, hail can form.  This is a hailstone measuring about five centimeters (two inches).
Sometimes during a thunderstorm, hail can form. This is a hailstone measuring about five centimeters (two inches).

Flash flooding

Thunderstorms moving slowly and dumping heavy rain create flooding instantly. If necessary, a weather service office will prompt a flash flood warning for an area vulnerable to rivers cresting or water-covered roads. Heavy rains can create ponds and flooding to streets and rivers, and they should be avoided by not driving through them. Instead, turn around.

After a heavy rain, flash flooding may cover roadways.  If you encounter something like this while driving, turn around.
After a heavy rain, flash flooding may cover roadways. If you encounter something like this while driving, turn around.


Increasing winds are normally associated with thunderstorms. These winds can be so strong, they may knock big trees onto roads. Utility poles can be knocked down as well, and debris such as signs are likely to be blown all over the place. Mobile homes are certainly not the best place for protection, since they can be damaged by those high winds quite easily. Find shelter at a sturdy building on the first floor.


Thunderstorms can produce tornadoes with little or no warning. Tornadoes swirl, sometimes on land, and they have very high winds. Catastrophic damages such as a demolished school building can happen in rural and urban areas. Use a basement or the very first floor to keep safe from these twisters.

Tornado damage in Joplin, Missouri.
Tornado damage in Joplin, Missouri.

Thunderstorms occur year round in many parts of the world, and can be dangerous. Remember that when you're outdoors before a thunderstorm, you could be close enough for a lightning strike. So if you see or hear a thunderstorm coming, go inside.

Severe Weather Safety Tips

YouTube video credit: National Weather Service Atlanta, GA


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)