Severe thunderstorm tears through Baton Rouge

Severe thunderstorm tears through Baton Rouge
Weather Talk

POSTED: Saturday, June 4, 2011 - 11:58pm

UPDATED: Monday, June 6, 2011 - 12:19pm

It was certainly a wild day for weather.  First we broke an old record of 97 degrees when we reached 100 degrees today.  Then, a severe thunderstorm rolled through the Baton Rouge area around 4pm this afternoon.  There were plenty of wind damage reports, and also a handful of hail reports.  Hundreds were without electricity for a long period of time.  Here are some definitions and tips to help you prepare for a severe thunderstorm:

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM DEFINITION: A severe thunderstorm as defined by the National Weather Service is a storm with hail = or > than 3/4" in diameter or convective wind gusts = or > than 58 mph. Even if a storm is not severe, it still remains a potential killer.  Lightning, flash flooding, wind blown hail (even small hail), and general thunderstorm wind gusts pose a threat to life and / or property. Severe thunderstorms also have the potential of producing a tornado with little or no advanced tornado warning.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH- The conditions are favorable for the development of thunderstorms that will contain hail = or > than 3/4" in diameter or convective wind gusts = or > than 58 mph. Severe thunderstorms are also capable of producing a tornado

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING- A severe thunderstorm has been spotted by a valid storm spotter or there is strong evidence from radar data that a severe thunderstorm is occurring


1. Secure any loose, high profile and small objects outside before the storm hits
2. Stay inside during the thunderstorm
3. Try to protect vehicle from hail damage (such as placing vehicle in the garage) before storm hits
4. Unplug sensitive equipment such as computers and other electronic equipment
5. Stay off the telephone and electronic equipment (if needed use battery operated TV, radio and phone)
6. Stay out of bath or shower
7. Keep a distance from windows
8. Be ready to take shelter in center of building on lowest floor crouched low to the ground
9. Listen to battery operated NOAA weather radio for updates


1. Do not drive into a strong thunderstorm (especially when a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch is in effect in or near the area)
2. If trapped in a storm, stay in the vehicle if large hail and / or vivid cloud-to-ground lightning is occurring.
3. If trapped on the highway, try to safely park the vehicle under an overpass
4. Reduce speed significantly if driving through a thunderstorm
5. Do not drive through flooded streets with unknown depth of water. Most flooding deaths occur in cars at night. Moving water is much more dangerous to drive through than stationary water
6. Listen to battery operated NOAA weather radio for updates

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