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The Greater Kansas City area averages about 40 to 60 thunderstorms each year. Thunderstorms may include strong winds, lightning, hail, heavy rain, flash floods, downbursts, and even tornadoes! Thunderstorms are dangerous.

Lightning from a storm can be fascinating to watch, but is also extremely dangerous, killing on average of 67 people per year in the United States. Lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from the rain area in a thunderstorm, but at that distance it may even be difficult to tell a storm is coming! It is best to take shelter immediately if the sky looks threatening or if you see lightning or hear thunder. 

When Thunder Roars Go IndoorsSevere Thunderstorm Watch means severe thunderstorms are possible, continue activities and monitor the situation.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning means severe thunderstorms are imminent, capable of causing significant damage due to high winds or hail.

What to do during a thunderstorm warning (remember the 30-30 rule):

  • If there is less than 30 seconds between a flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, you need to seek shelter! Or better yet, seek shelter on the first sign of thunder or lightning - better to be safe than sorry!

  • Remain under cover until 30 minutes after the final clap of thunder - don't let the sunny skies fool you!

Thunderstorm & Lightning tips:

  • Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances not necessary for obtaining weather information. Avoid using electrical devices.

  • Get to higher ground if flooding is possible, see more on flash floods here.

  • For more information on Safety Tips - visit PrepareMetro KC!

Last modified: Sep 10, 2018