A tad bit warm in Dickinson areaResidents sweated out highs of more than 90 degrees over the weekend and into Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Heat can bring concerns of other severe summer weather, officials said.
By: Katherine Grandstrand, The Dickinson Press
Residents sweated out highs of more than 90 degrees over the weekend and into Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Heat can bring concerns of other severe summer weather, officials said.
No matter the chance of thunderstorms, this time of year any storm can turn severe quickly, Bismarck-based NWS Emergency Response Specialist Corey King said.
Summer heat brings camping and, in the Oil Patch, more people using RVs for housing. This is a cause for concern, said Dunn County Emergency Manager Denise Brew, because people with those living arrangements might not know the weather emergency protocol for their park, and those running parks may not have a clear plan, either.
“If you rent a place to live or you find a place to park your RV, you need talk to whoever you are renting from and find out what they recommend for you to do,” Brew said.
There is a chance of thunderstorms this evening, AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Brian Edwards said. Those storms should subside by Wednesday morning, leaving a bright, sunny and warm Fourth of July with highs in the mid-80s to mid-90s.
“To get thunderstorms you have to have some kind of a trigger,” he said. “Whether it a front or a disturbance in the upper parts of the atmosphere. You need something to get the air going and to lift it to form the clouds.”The NWS website and the Bowman Radar are two resources especially important for southwest North Dakota, she said.
“We can see the weather coming from that radar quicker than what Bismarck shows us,” Brew said of the Bowman Radar. “It’s a big tool, you can kind of foresee what’s happening before it’s right above your head.”
Even those familiar with tornadoes and other severe summer weather might not be prepared for a North Dakota storm, Brew said.
“It makes me very nervous because there’s a lot of people out there that I don’t know where they’re gonna go, I don’t know what they’re gonna do,” Brew said. “If we have a tornado heading for Killdeer it scares the bageezus out of me.”
Storms may most often occur in the afternoon because heat peaks then, King said, but they can happen at any time of the day.
Both Brew and King recommend keeping oneself informed as the first line of defense against summer weather. From checking the weather before leaving the house to using phone apps and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radios when out, especially in exposed areas lacking storm shelters, like fields or oil rig/well sites.
Tornadoes developing are a concern anytime a severe storm develops, but lightning can cause extensive damage as well, King said.
It is true that counting between lighting strikes and thunder booms is an accurate way to tell how far away the lighting strike took place, with every five seconds equaling one mile, he said. It is not, however, an accurate way to tell how far away a storm is because lighting can strike miles away from the worst of the storm.
Inversely, being far away from a storm does not guarantee safety from lightning strikes, King said.
No matter how storm information is acquired, whether from television, radio or the Internet, it is important to share that information with those who may not have access to it, Brew said.
“Don’t feel bad about reaching out and saying, ‘Hey you guys, pay attention to this.’ Or if you hear about something coming share with everybody you know in your social networking,” she said. “Get it out there because not everybody is tuned in.”
For more severe summer weather tips check out: http://www.nd.gov/des/get/severe-summer-weather/