It is Thunderstorm season in the Hudson Valley and today's weather in Ulster County reminded us that now is a good time to review storm safety. This afternoon we had a storm bring hail to parts of the Hudson Valley that had the folks at Dressel Farms in New Paltz taking pictures of hail the size of golf balls. It even had Rod Sr., according to their Facebook post commenting that in his 84 years he had heard about it, but never actually had seen hail like the kind they got today.

Checking in on the weather forecast for the rest of the week in the Hudson Valley from to the National Weather Service it looks like we could get more storms right through the weekend. The Hudson Valley storm season is just getting underway so it is probably a good time for us to remind ourselves about some important safety tips when it come to thunder and lightning storms.

The National Weather Service offers some great tips on the website along with the definitions of a Severe Thunderstorm Watch vs Warning. Basically a watch is when conditions are right for a storm and a warning is when a storm has been spotted. Growing up I can remember a few bad storms that left lasting memories. This is probably one of the reasons I take storm safety seriously. I have seen lightning dance across the ocean and strike a boat. I have been in a room when lightning struck a tree in the yard outside next to the window. And I was at my grandpa's house when his neighbor was struck by lightning closing his garage doors luckily he survived.

So what are things we should keep in mind when a summer storm is brewing? The tips below come directly from the National Weather Service

  • The best defense against thunderstorms is to stay inside a sturdy building or shelter that can protect you from deadly lightning, large hail, damaging winds, flooding rain and tornadoes. Fortunately, thunderstorms typically do not last very long and will most often pass by your location in less than one hour.
  • Once in a shelter, stay away from windows and avoid electrical equipment and plumbing. Remember to bring pets inside. If there is time, secure loose objects outside as these objects often become dangerous flying debris in high winds.
  • Postpone outdoor activities until the storms have passed.
  • If caught outside, take shelter in a sturdy enclosed building or hard top automobile immediately. Avoid open spaces, isolated objects, high ground and metallic objects.
  • Get out of boats and away from bodies of water. Remember, if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning.

The New York Department of Health also has some good tip you can check out that include what to do if someone near you is struck by lightning.

Like some of my Midwest relatives I have been known to sit on the porch and watch a storm roll in. It is exciting and a really cool part of Mother Nature. However, there always comes that point when it's time to go inside.

Pictures from Highland of the same hail storm.

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