Weather Myths in Minneapolis- What you need to know!
As the temperatures in Minneapolis begin to rise, severe storms start to make headlines around the nation. When I was growing up, I remember my Nana saying you should keep your windows cracked if a tornado is in your area to equalize the pressure. Is this true or a myth? Thinking back on my Nana’s safety tip got me thinking, so I did a little digging!
Not only did I bust her (what I thought to be) “words of wisdom” but I found 5 pretty common weather myths that you should stop believing if you were led to believe an “old wise tale” like I was. Incorrect information about weather can be dangerous and even prove deadly. Here are the common myths I found.
- Tornadoes and hurricanes do the most harm – Although tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes appear to cause the most amount of damage, looks can be deceiving. In fact, droughts and floods do the most harm in America every year, consistently killing more than 100 people per year.
- Lightning never strikes the same place twice – Anyone who has witnessed the New York City skyline during a thunderstorm knows this myth is everything but true. Lightning not only can strike a single location twice, it also can strike twice within one storm.
The myth derives from the thought that because lightning storms cover such a large expanse, probability is in favor of lightning not striking one spot twice.
- You can safely drive through floodwaters – So, you have an SUV or truck and you come across what looks to be a small stream of floodwater. Do you risk driving through it? Absolutely not!!!
It is a common belief that the larger the vehicle, the deeper the water it can drive through. Many people do not realize that two feet of water can float most vehicles, including SUVs and pickups, especially if the water is moving rapidly, vehicles can be swept quickly away.
- Alcohol warms the body in winter – I honestly have never heard this one before. My original plan was to focus on summer storms that could cause damage, but apparently it’s a pretty common myth so I decided to include it.
Some may think a drink in the dead of winter definitely can make you feel better, but research shows that drinking during cold weather actually makes you colder.
Alcohol dilates your blood vessels and forces blood toward your skin, reversing the normal flow that keeps your internal organs warm. In return, hypothermia is more likely to happen.
Also, some research has shown that alcohol actually causes your body to sweat, which also lowers your body temperature.
- Opening windows will equalize the pressure and prevent tornado damage – Last but not least, here’s the one that inspired this blog!
Tornadoes occur, in part, because of a severe drop in atmospheric pressure. An old myth has been that the pressure outside is so dramatically different than the pressure inside your home that you risk your home imploding.
Not true, according to the National Weather Service.
“Opening the windows in an attempt to equalize pressure will have no effect. It is the violent winds and debris that cause most structural damage,” according to the NWS. “It is more important for you to move to a safe area away from windows and exterior walls. With a tornado, every second counts, so use your time wisely and take cover.” So Nana… There ya go!
Here are some additional Links with great information that may help keep you and your family safe.
Technology is another great thing we have these days to help us stay alert and prepared before disaster could strike. Even though technology is always changing and can be frustrating at times, there are some nice apps and other equipment that can keep you safe.
My favorite weather app is WeatherBug by Earth Networks. All of us in my family are allergy sufferers, this app it keeps us up-to-date on local counts that can make us miserable. It also gives you severe weather alerts AND has an exclusive lightening tracking system that the kids and I think is super cool and handy! That is definitely more reliable than the theory of “The closer the lighting, the louder the thunder”!
Always remember and trust, that if you do experience any kind of storm damage to your home, 24Restore is always here to help… from beginning to end.
Here’s to staying safe this summer!
blogger and multi-media/internet marketing for 24Restore