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It's Severe Thunderstorm Season In The Miami Valley

National Weather Service

The spring and summer months are when the Miami Valley sees some of its most dangerous weather. But it isn’t only tornadoes we need to worry about. Severe thunderstorms can pack just as destructive a punch.

The severe thunderstorms that hit our area can drop a lot of rain in a short amount of time, and give off wind gusts of 60 miles an hour or more. Severe thunderstorms will often drop large chunks of hail or even develop tornados in their wake.

A regular thunderstorm becomes a severe one with just the right combination of things happening in the atmosphere.

"I like to tell people it's like a tea kettle," says WHIO Chief Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs. "You put the hot water in the tea kettle and it's bubbling, bubbling, bubbling. And then at some point, there is an explosion of all that steam breaking through the cap and you have that whistling. That's when that thunderstorm would form."

When you hear there’s a severe thunderstorm watch — she says that’s the time to make sure you’ve got your emergency plan in place. But when you hear that it’s a severe thunderstorm or a tornado warning?

"A warning is an action. You need to take action. Move inside. Get away from windows. Get to the lowest level of your home or a sturdy structure to stay safe," she says.