Many events can come from a severe thunderstorm: damaging winds, lightning, hail, heavy rain, and even tornadoes.
That's why you should never be complacent when a thunderstorm is on the way.
On August 10th of 2020, a severe derecho swept through the midwest. A derecho is a wide-spread, long-lived line of severe thunderstorms with damaging winds. In Illinois, wind gusts neared 100 mph. Ten people were injured and there were hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
"Those types of storms are actually fairly common. You're actually 15x more likely to get a storm like that than you are a tornado," said Chris Miller.
Miller is the Acting Meteorologist-in-Charge at the National Weather Service in Lincoln, Illinois. He said complacency from residents during thunderstorms is always a big concern.
"A lot of people think that tornadoes are the worst thing that can happen, and they can be very terrible, but so can severe thunderstorms with high winds," "If you hear on your favorite local television station, 'Severe Thunderstorm Warning,' please don't take those lightly. Those are very serious situations and cause a lot of damage," Miller pleaded.
In the event of a severe thunderstorm, monitor your radio and local television for watches and warnings in your area. Miller says to seek shelter immediately and stay away from exterior doors and windows.
If you don't have access to shelter at that moment, avoid standing near trees.
"Lightning tends to strike the tallest object. In most cases, those are trees. Don't lie flat on the ground. If you lie flat on the ground and lightning strikes the ground where you are, that current can come up into your body," said Miller
Illinois ranks 8th in the united states for the most lightning strikes per square mile each year. You can get the latest weather watches and warnings on your smartphone through the Storm Team 10 App.