Summer Storms in Minnesota
Posted on August 8, 2017 by Advance Companies
Minneapolis certainly experiences a lot of storms. We have grown accustomed to intense weather, be it rain, snow, or other. But do you know what causes certain storms? Just because it’s Summer doesn’t mean that the weather can’t still surprise you. During the Summer storms can actually be at their worst, when you’re meant to be outside enjoying the sunshine and participating in all the Summer activities.
Here we will explain different types of storms and where they come from. We’re not sure if knowing what causes storms will ease your pain of experiencing them, but it doesn’t hurt to understand their source, so you can better prepare for future damage.
4 Types of Summer Storms in Minnesota
Thunder storms are the most common in Minneapolis; where between 30 and 40 days a year show signs of thunder. Thunder storms are caused by different temperatures in a mass of air. When the lower portion of a cumulonimbus cloud becomes significantly warmer than the higher portion, a thunderstorm is created, and the moving mass of air and cloud begins to rain or hail. You can read a more detailed description of this process here. Thunderstorms can include lightning and hail, can start tornadoes, and turn the power off.
So how do I prepare for a thunderstorm? Thunderstorms are very common, and sometimes you won’t always be prepared for them, but you can do a few things to help prevent some home damage during a thunderstorm.
- Ensure windows and doors are properly sealed
- Purchase a backup generator to provide power in the event of an outage
- Remove or secure any furniture or trees near walls that could fall and damage your home
- Unplug electronics in case of lightning strikes near power lines
Lightning is usually accompanied by a thunderstorm. Lightning is caused by an electrical discharge of electrons moving very quickly from one place to another (A. Harfield LTD). As lightning seeks to balance its negatively and positively-charged ions, it finds the quickest path to earth. This can be through electricity poles, tall buildings, and sometimes trees. The greatest danger with lightning is electrical surges created when lightning strikes the earth.
What to do:
- Avoid using devices connected to electricity
- Unplug devices connected to electricity
- Stay away from natural conductors (trees, poles, etc)
- Stay away from large open spaces
- Do not lie on concrete (electricity can travel along concrete to you)
- Pull over and wait if you are driving, and do not touch the frame of your car
A hurricane is defined as “intense low pressure areas that form over warm ocean waters in the summer and early fall” (weatherquestions.com). A hurricane is essentially a more intense thunderstorm with a center point of spinning air. Though hurricanes are not a frequent occurrence, they cause tremendous damage when they do occur. Though there isn’t much you can do in the event of a hurricane, here are a few precautions you can take:
- Prepare an evacuation plan (including information from your city)
- Board windows and doors, and reinforce your home
- Secure loose items, and remove outside things that can damage your home
- Stay away from doors and windows
- Prepare for power outage
Updrafts and downdrafts in a thunderstorm are usually what causes tornadoes. The two opposing forces meet and begin to spin, which propels the storm faster and faster until it begins whipping debris around with it. Tornadoes can begin anywhere that a thunderstorm occurs. If you live in an area where thunderstorms are frequent, you need to be aware that tornadoes are a very real possibility.
In Minnesota, tornadoes often occur in groups. In order to prepare yourself for a tornado, or a group of tornadoes, take these tips into account:
- Trim branches on trees and secure outside debris
- Find a safe place (preferably underground) to stay during the storm
- Stay far away from tornadoes (this sounds silly, but lots of people take pictures of tornadoes)
- Stay away from windows and doors
As Summer draws to a close, we hope that there aren’t any crazy storms in store for us in Minneapolis. We want you to be safe and have fun for these last remaining weeks! If you have experienced a storm or storm damage, we are happy to help you and your family get back on your feet. You can give us a call at (763) 572-2000, or go here for more information.