Common Extreme Weather Conditions

225 views | 5:54pm on Tuesday 20th April 2021

The periodicity and intensity of common  extreme weather conditions have increased as a result of human-induced global warming. They have wreaked havoc on human society and natural ecosystems as well. So what cause these events? How to stay safe when they hit us? Keep reading on!

What are extreme weather conditions?

Extreme weather refers to any dangerous meteorological phenomena that have the potential to cause damage, severe social instability, or death. The types of extreme weather events vary depending on the longitude, latitude, topography, and atmospheric conditions. 

extreme weather conditions

Types of extreme weather conditions

Strong winds, hail, excessive rainfall, and wildfires are all forms and effects of extreme weather, as well as thunderstorms, downbursts, lightning, cyclones, tornadoes, tropical storms, and tropical storms. Extreme weather develops seasonally and geographically, such as snowstorms and dust storms.

Types of extreme weather conditions

#1. Flood

Flooding is an overflow of water that submerges land and is one of the deadliest types of severe weather. Floods can look very different, build gradually, and come on quickly.

When it comes to extreme weather conditions, we can’t ignore a flood. It occurs for many different reasons, causing damage to people in both health and property. Once you understand what floods are, here are the main causes of floods that you should be aware of:

  • Due to Storms surges or Tides

Storm surges drive large amounts of water towards the shoreline, If the wind is added, the rising water effect can be further strengthened, as water is led into the estuary area.

  • Due to prolonged heavy rain

Long-lasting heavy rains in the deltas (like the central part of our country) make watersheds on dykes or rivers with no outlet. In addition, prolonged heavy rains also form flash floods, floods, causing heavy damage to people and property.

  • Due to tsunami and tides

Tidal events or tsunamis are also a cause of inundation in the central coastal provinces. Due to overflowing, rising, overflowing dikes or hydropower reservoirs or floods.

extreme weather conditions

Common Extreme Weather Conditions 

Tips:

  • Stay up to date with weather conditions alerts, warnings and severe weather advice

  • Follow instructions from public safety officials

  • Move your property to a low-risk area

  • Stay away from flooded areas, drains, ditches, and fast-moving water. Move to higher ground.

  • Unplugging electronic devices before flooding occurs. Never touch electrical equipment if you are wet.

  • Assemble an emergency kit.

  • Avoid walking in floodwaters.

  • Avoid riving into the water of unknown depths or around barricades.

#2. Drought

Drought refers to a prolonged period of water shortages in a specific area, caused by abnormally low rainfall and dry weather. It is considered one of the most dangerous, extreme weather conditions.

There are four types of drought: 

1) meteorological drought: This happens when dry weather dominates an area.

2) hydrological drought: occurs when low water supplies become apparent, especially in streams, reservoirs

3) agricultural drought: occurs when crops become affected.

4) socioeconomic drought: occurs when the demand for an economic commodity exceeds supply due to a weather-related shortage of water supply.

Drought can have detrimental impacts on health problems, air quality, hygiene, food, and nutrition. It leads to water supply problems and diseases in the affected areas.

extreme weather conditions

Extreme weather conditions negatively impact humans

So how can we prevent drought?

Paying attention to how much water you use each day can be an effective way to prevent drought. Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, watering your garden early in the morning to make the water less evaporated, and installing low-flow plumbing fixtures are all good ways to prevent water wastage.

Tips:

  • Get informed with early warnings by meteorologists 

  • Don’t pour water down the drain if it can be used for other purposes.  

  • Fix dripping faucets to save water

  • Check all plumbing for leaks and have them fixed

  • Store water. Use water conservation measures that help you lose less water and encourage water seepage into the soil.

  • Install the most water-efficient irrigation devices for each use, such as microbiology and drip irrigation systems, and sprinklers.

#3. Heatwaves

Heatwaves are periods of excessively hot weather, accompanied by high levels of humidity. There are different definitions for heatwaves as temperatures vary in different geographic locations. A heatwave can less be known as a form of extreme weather since it’s invisible, unlike other forms like hurricanes, tornadoes. 

So what causes a heatwave? They are derived from trapped air. When air is trapped over one region due to high-pressure systems, sunlight will warm it up to uncharacteristic temperatures. 

extreme weather conditions

Extreme weather conditions you need to know

Heatwaves are among the most extreme weather conditions but receive less attention as their destruction is not always evident.

Heatwaves can pose a threat to humans and ecosystems. Long exposure to heat can negatively impact our health. People may lose their crops or livestock owning to extreme heat.

Tips

  • Check weather forecast to get warnings about upcoming heatwaves

  • Draw your curtains  and awnings and turn on your air conditioner

  • Stay hydrated by drinking two to three litres of water each day

  • Stay out of the sun

  • Learn hot weather advice for seniors and look after your pets

#4. Cold waves

A cold wave is one of the most extreme weather conditions that occur when temperature fall rapidlly within a 24-hour period. This minimum temperature vary among geographical regions and at diferent time of year. Cold waves can occur in any geological location and are formed by the accumulation of large cool air masses across certain regions.

A cold wave can have detrimental impacts on livestock and wildlife. When accompanied by  heavy and persistent snow, a cold wave may limit the ability of grazing animals to reach necessary food and water. As a result, they can die of hypothermia or starvation.

extreme weather conditions

Learn about extreme weather conditions

Tips:

  • Avoid going outside as much as possible

  • Listen to the radio for weather forecast and weather reports 

  • Close off heat to some rooms to conserve fuel

  • Dress in layer. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water proof.

  • Pay attention to signs of frostbite such as loss of feeling, pale fingers, pale toes.

  • If trapped in the car, you should pull off the highway and turn on hazard lights 

#5. Tornado

A tornado is one of the most devasting extreme weather conditions. They are vertical funnels of rapidly spinning air moving at speeds of about 16 to 32 kilometers per hour (10 to 20 miles per hour). Their winds can top 402 kilometers per hour (250 miles per hour). Tornadoes usually last less than 10 minutes in any place in the world, but mostly in the United States.

Tornadoes form when warm, moist air collides with cold, dry air. Denser cold air is pushed through the warm air, often creating thunderstorms. 

Tornadoes cause tremendous destruction with winds of up to 300 miles per hour. They can destroy large buildings, uproot trees, and flip vehicles. 

extreme weather conditions

Extreme weather conditions

Tips:

  • Listen to the radio or check weather online to stay informed about severe weather conditions.

  • Prepare a plan and an emergency kit

  • Go to the basement or a small interior room. 

  • When you’re outside, get to the nearest shelter. If there isn’t any shelter, stay in the vehicle with your seat belt on. Cover your head and put it down 

  • Stay away from windows.

  •  Do not try to outrun the tornado in your car. 

#6. Lightning

One of the most extreme weather conditions seen during thunderstorms is lightning. Lightning is a natural electrical discharge that happens when there is the imbalance between storm clouds and the ground. Three common types of lightning are cloud to ground, cloud to cloud, and cloud to air. 

Lightning can create heat that is four times greater than the sun. Lightning is not only seen during thunderstorms. but also in volcanic eruptions, extremely intense wildfires, surface nuclear detonations, massive snowstorms, and during major hurricanes.

Lightning can cause cardiac arrest, burns, and permanent brain damage to memory loss, or even death.

Extreme Weather Conditions

Extreme weather conditions

Tips:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible.

  • Stay off windows and doors. 

  • Turn off electronic devices. 

  • Stay away from sinks, tubs, anything metal, pools, lakes.

  • Avoid concrete floors and walls, corded phone.

  • Avoid open spaces, but never shelter under a big tree. 

#7. Dust Storm

A dust storm is one of the most violent and extreme weather conditions that occur when very strong winds carry clouds of dust across an area.

The blowing wind filled the air with sand and dust, severely restricted visibility, and delayed traffic. Sand and dust storms are associated with increased emergency department visits and hospital admissions, as well as increased exacerbations of asthma and respiratory illness.

extreme weather conditions

Most extreme weather conditions

  • If you observe dense dust is approaching the roadway, pull your vehicle over the curb as far as possible, stop, turn off the lights, remove your foot from the brake pedal. 

  • Avoid the dust storm area as much as possible.

  • If you have no choice but to stay on the roadway, drive at a suitable speed for visibility, turn on lights. You can follow the guide of the painted centerline and look for a safe place to pull off the roadway.

  • Check traffic around your vehicle slow down.

  • Never stop in a travel lane or in the emergency lane.

  • Close all windows and convert the vehicle's ventilation system to recirculating air

  • Stay in your vehicle and wait for the storm to pass.

#8. Blizzard

A blizzard refers to a severe snowstorm with intensely strong winds and low visibility. 

Blizzard is one of the most common extreme weather conditions in which snow is not falling but loose snow on the ground is lifted and blown by strong winds.

To avoid hypothermia if caught outdoors during a blizzard, drink enough fluids and get some nutrients. Move around to keep blood flowing.

extreme weather conditions

Blizzard is one of the most extreme weather conditions

Tips:

  • Check the local weather forecast, follow weather reports and warnings to know the storm's timeline.

  • Make sure to charge your electronic devices. During a storm, they may be the only way to stay updated on the storm and contact someone in case of an emergency. 

  • Avoid going outsides. If you have no choice but to travel by car during a blizzard, pack an emergency aid kit in case your car breaks down, or you get into an accident. 

  • Keep an eye on your pet: When it snows heavily, keep your dog on a leash while walking and add some colorful identification tags to the collar.

  • Layer up: Dressing  the most effective way to insulate your body. Choose proper snow weather outfits to beat the cold.

  • Never use a generator indoors.

#9. Hurricanes

Hurricanes, or cyclones, are one of the most common, extreme weather conditions. Hurricanes are giant, spiraling tropical storms. They include strong winds of over 257 kilometers per hour (160 miles per hour). They also include heavy rains and can drop more than 9 trillion liters (2.4 trillion gallons) of rain a day.

extreme weather conditions

What do you know about extreme weather conditions

Tips:

  • Create an emergency supply kit.

  • Help parents prepare for bad weather. 

  • Stay indoors. during a hurricane 

  • Follow local radio/TV stations for weather and specific instructions.

  • Immediately evacuate the area when told by local officials.

  • If your home is on lower ground, move to a shelter.

Conclusion

Common extreme weather conditions are serious and dangerous. In order to stay safe and unharmed, it is crucial that you learn about the necessary safety precautions and tips. We hope, the information on common severe weather conditions provided in this article will help make sure you don’t put yourself at a heightened risk.

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