Marshall Severe Watches & Warnings NOAA Weather Radio

Fire Weather Warning
Statement as of 3:39 AM CDT on April 21, 2014

...Red flag warning in effect from 1 PM this afternoon to 7 PM CDT this evening for wind and low relative humidity for fire weather zones 039...046...271...272 and 273...

The National Weather Service in Aberdeen has issued a red flag warning for wind and low relative humidity...which is in effect from 1 PM this afternoon to 7 PM CDT this evening. The Fire Weather Watch is no longer in effect.

* Affected area...in Minnesota...fire weather zones 039 and 046. In South Dakota...fire weather zones 271...272 and 273.

* Winds...northwest 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.

* Relative humidity...as low as 20 percent.

* Impacts...the combination of low humidity...dry fuels and gusty winds will likely create critical fire conditions this afternoon into early evening.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now...or will shortly. A combination of strong winds...low relative humidity...and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

Public Information Statement
Statement as of 6:02 am CDT on April 21, 2014

...Minnesota severe weather awareness week...day one ...Thunderstorms...hail...wind and lightning...

Thunderstorms... affect relatively small areas when compared with most other storms. The typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts for 30 minutes. But despite this size... all thunderstorms are dangerous. Severe thunderstorms produce large hail or winds of at least 58 mph. Some wind gusts can exceed 100 mph and produce tornado-like damage. Many communities will sound their outdoor sirens for very damaging straight-line winds. When a severe thunderstorm threatens...stay inside a strong structure. Mobile home occupants should go to a more permanent structure.

Hail... is another product of thunderstorms that annually causes nearly one billion dollars in damage throughout the United States. Many of the losses are incurred by farmers. The most common diameter is pea size...but hail can be as large as Golf balls and baseballs. In extreme cases hail can reach grapefruit size. Large hail stones fall at speeds faster than 100 mph and have been known to kill people.

The largest hail stone in Minnesota last year was 3.75 inches...or slightly smaller than the size of a grapefruit. The stone fell August 27 in the town of New York Mills.

Thunderstorm winds... thunderstorms can produce strong wind gusts. These straight-line winds have been known to exceed 100 miles per hour. For this reason...you should treat severe thunderstorms just as you would tornadoes. Move to an appropriate shelter if in the path of the storm.

The strong out rush of wind from a thunderstorm is often called a downburst. One of the primary causes is rain-cooled air...which accelerates rapidly downward... producing a potentially damaging gust of wind.

Strong downbursts are often mistaken for tornadoes. They can produce extensive damage and are often accompanied by a roaring sound similar to that of a tornado. Downbursts can easily overturn Mobile homes...tear roofs off houses...and topple trees. People who are camping are especially vulnerable...due to trees toppling onto their Camp sites.

The highest wind gust recorded last year in Minnesota was 89 mph which occurred in the town of Rothsay on August 31.

Lightning... every thunderstorm produces lightning...which on a National basis...kills more people than tornadoes in a given year.

Every thunderstorm produces lightning...which on a National basis...kills more people than tornadoes in a given year. Lightning kills around 100 americans annually...with about 300 injuries. The majority of fatalities occur during leisure activities... like softball or baseball...fishing and camping

The following are some safety tips...

1. All thunderstorms produce lightning. It is surprising that so many people are not aware of this.

2. Get inside a building or enclosed vehicle. Many fatalities occur when the warning signs are ignored.

3. If caught in an open area with lightning all around Crouch down immediately. Put your hands on your knees but do not lie down on the ground.

4. Do not use a corded telephone or electrical appliance. A nearby lightning strike can travel through the phone or power lines...right into the home.

5. Avoid seeking shelter beneath lone trees.

Myths and facts...

Myth...if it is not raining...there is no danger from lightning. Fact...lightning often strikes away from heavy rainfall and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.

Myth...rubber soles of shoes...or rubber tires on a car will protect you from being injured by lightning. Fact...rubber provides no protection from lightning. However... the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.

Myth...people struck by lightning carry an electrical charge and should not be touched. Fact...lightning-strike victims carry no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately.

Myth...heat lightning occurs after very hot Summer days and poses no threat. Fact...what is referred to as heat lightning is actually lightning from a thunderstorm too far away for thunder to be heard. However...the storm may be moving in your direction.

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