Most of Georgia is currently rated at a moderate chance of severe thunderstorms today. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK raised the forecast from Moderate to High for southeast Georgia including Macon and Augusta. That High bubble could expand to include the metro area and possibly parts of southwest and north Georgia
It’s good to be prepared ahead of severe weather so that you’re not caught up in a panic on what you need to do. At a minimum, you should make sure you have your phone charged and a weather app downloaded on your phone with the ability to access your location and know where you can seek shelter in the event of a warning.
Most weather apps (like The Weather Channel, Accuweather, and ones provided by local news channels) are able to send notifications to your phone alerting when you are under a weather watch or warning. If you have a weather radio with an alarm that goes off when a watch or warning has been issued for your area, make sure that it’s plugged in and has fresh batteries for a backup in case you lose power.
Speaking of watches and warnings, let’s go over the difference between the two:
- A watch is when conditions are favorable for a particular type of weather (like severe thunderstorms or tornadoes)
- A warning is an active, immediate event where a severe thunderstorm is occurring or about to occur or a tornado is expected to occur has been spotted on the ground. This is the time to seek shelter in the lowest floor of your house or building in an interior room with no windows. The more walls between you and the outside, the better.
The Weather Channel has a deeper explanation. I’m just providing the Cliff’s Notes.Advances in technology for predicting weather have allowed the National Weather Service to issue severe weather warnings earlier giving more lead time for people to seek shelter. If you’re under a tornado warning but it doesn’t look bad at that moment, GO SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY. This would be an instance of better safe than sorry.
Weather is a fascinating and beautiful thing, but it can be dangerous. You may be tempted to go outside to get video of a storm or tornado that’s going through your area, but please don’t. Stay inside and away from windows as severe thunderstorms roll through. If you’re driving, the best thing for you to do is find a building or a storm shelter if you can. If there’s a tornado on the ground while you’re driving and you can’t get to shelter, drive away from it at a 90 degree angle…don’t try to out run it.
Stay safe, Georgia. Be prepared, be ready, have a plan, and keep a watchful eye to the sky.