Today the weather has been quite turbulent. Thunderstorms, hail in some areas. The sky turning totally dark. Here are some great tips inspired by today's weather:

Thunderstorm safety guide

Thunderstorms can throw one of nature's most spectacular shows, but at the same time prove to be deadly. Dangers associated with thunderstorms can include lightning, hail, heavy rain, flooding, strong winds associated with downbursts, microbursts and tornadoes.

When certain atmospheric conditions coexist, a general thunderstorm can become severe. According to the National Weather Service, a thunderstorm is classified severe when winds reach or exceed 57.5 mph or produces hail three-quarters of an inch (size of a dime) in diameter or larger.

Out of the estimated 100,000 thunderstorms that occur in the U.S. each year, only 10 percent become severe, but account for most of the damage and loss of life.

Thunderstorms typically last less than a half an hour, but at times they form into long-lasting lines, known as squall lines, or grow to become powerful supercells that can last for hours and spawn killer tornadoes.

Each state in the USA is prone to thunderstorms and the first step in staying safe is to stay tuned to the latest forecasts. If thunderstorms are possible in your area, keep up with forecasts. Plan your day accordingly, which may include postponing or canceling your outdoor activities. Severe thunderstorms might also prompt the National Weather Service to issue watches and warnings for tornadoes and floods.

When forecasters at the nation's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., determine that severe thunderstorms are possible in your area, a severe thunderstorm watch will be issued.

What to do during a thunderstorm:

Indoors:

  • Stay off the phone
  • Stay away from windows
  • Use flashlights if the power goes out
  • Discontinue use of phones and electrical equipment. You may also want to unplug appliances and computers.
  • Avoid taking a shower or bath. If lightning strikes your house it may send a current of electricity across metal plumbing throughout the house.

While driving:

  • Reduce your speed
  • Pull off to the shoulder of the road. Be sure you're away from tall objects, such as trees, which could fall due to wind or lightning and do not clog highway underpasses.
  • Turn on your emergency flashers
  • Remain in the car until the storm passes
  • Do not touch any metal objects in the car
  • Avoid driving on roads covered by water

Outdoors:

  • Stay low
  • If possible, find shelter in a building
  • Keep away from trees, tall objects, metal objects and water
  • Boaters and swimmer should get to land as a soon as possible
  • If you're in a group caught outside, spread out.
  • If you begin to feel your hair stand on end, this indicates lightning is about to strike. You should drop to your knees and bend forward placing your hands on your knees and crouch down. Do not lie flat on the ground, this will only make you a larger target.

Taken from: http://www.usatoday.com/weather/resources/safety/wtstorm.htm