Thunderstorms are common occurrences throughout most of the U.S. They can happen any time of the year, and for the most part, they result in no more than a little noise and rain. There are those, however, that produce much more danger and potential damage.
Wind generally accompanies a thunderstorm, and it can become severe, resulting in property damage, fallen trees, and downed power lines. Power outages may last for hours or days and these can be more than just a temporary inconvenience. In cases where the temperatures are extremely high, they can cause a serious problem where air conditioning and food refrigeration are concerned. In worst case scenarios, the storm may even generate a tornado which of course has the capability to destroy homes and sometimes entire communities. In any event, winds have the potential to damage shingles, siding, and even crops in the fields.
Lightening is for the most part, merely the light show of the storm, but in certain circumstances it can strike buildings, power stations, forests, and people. Lightening strikes in a thunderstorm can cause structural fires as well as forest fires. And, in rare cases, lightening can strike people who happen to be outside in the line of fire, using electrical appliances, or even talking on the phone.
Hail is often a result of a particularly bad storm, and can range in size anywhere from the size of peas to the size of baseballs. Obviously, the larger sizes can actually injure or kill those who are outside and unprotected. Any size hail has the potential to do a great deal of damage to homes, vehicles, and crops.
The rain that results from a particularly bad storm can very well come down at the rate of an inch or more an hour, producing flash floods, river flooding, flooded basements, and overall dangerous conditions. Slow moving storms or those that reoccur for days at a time may cause widespread flooding that encompasses homes, and sometimes entire communities or towns. Flash floods that are produced from flooded areas upstream are the cause of many deaths since they arrive suddenly and unexpectedly. Flooded areas that are the result of several inches of rain falling during a thunderstorm are affected long after the waters have receded through loss of property, and destroyed crops.
Any thunderstorm should be respected as a potential threat, and safety precautions should always be taken.