As severe storms move into the area, Middle Tennessee is also under a high wind warning.
Strong winds are possible when there’s a severe thunderstorm and can be damaging when winds exceed above 50 MPH. These damaging winds are referred to as “straight-line” winds to differentiate from the damage that’s caused by a tornado.
During strong thunderstorms, straight-line wind speeds can exceed 100 mph, which is strong enough to blow heavy objects like semi-trucks, power lines and trees.
The National Weather Service issues advisories for four different types of high wind events:
- High Wind Warning – Sustained, strong winds with even stronger gusts are happening.
- High Wind Watch – Sustained, strong winds are possible.
- Wind Advisory – Strong winds are occurring but are not as strong as a High Wind Warning
- Dust Storm Warning – Visibility of 1/2 mile or less due to blowing dust or sand, and wind speeds are over 30 MPH
While these advisories are specific to wind, winds can also be damaging during other severe weather events.
When strong winds are possible in your area, for your safety it is best to do the following:
- Secure loose gutters, shutters and items outside your home that could blow away, identify a room
- Trim tree branches near your house
- Identify an interior room of your house to take shelter in during high wind warnings.
- If you live in a mobile home, identify a sturdy building you can go to
- Keep items such as cell phones, booster packs, and weather radios charged in case of a power outage
- Ensure you have enough food and water to last for 3 days for each person in your home
- Update your emergency kit