1) Know the Difference Between Weather Watches and Warnings
To help keep us safe, the National Weather Service issues storm watches and warnings based on several criteria. Weather “watches” for when are issued Buncombe or Greenville counties when conditions are favorable for adverse weather. Warnings are issued when inclement weather is imminent for specific communities.
In other words, if the NWS issues a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Henderson county, it means that severe thunderstorms (storm cells with wind gusting at or above 55 mph) are possible at some point during the timeframe of the watch. If a Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued for Henderson County, it means that a severe storm has formed and will enter Henderson county soon. Along with the warning, the NWS will specify which communities will most likely be affected.
Confusion between watches and warnings can catch drivers off guard. With millions of motorists traveling through Asheville and Greenville each year, knowing when storm watches and warnings are issued can save lives.
2) Know on What Days to be “Weather-Aware”
Some summer days require more “weather-awareness” than others. There are several ways in which you can know when and how to be weather aware, including:
- Watching the weather forecast on the local news
- Following local meteorologists (Jason Boyer, Chris Justus, Brad Panovich, etc) on social media
- Downloading a good weather app on your phone
- Listening for alerts on AM and FM radio
- Using a NOAA weather alerts radio
Driving in the mountains and foothills of North and South Carolina can be tricky, even when the weather is nice. There is enough information available for drivers to avoid being caught off-guard by wind-driven storms, lightning, and flash flooding. Being weather-aware can help protect you and your family when you’re on the road.
3) Turn Around, Don’t Drown
In Asheville, we have an abundance of beautiful, serene rivers, creaks, and streams. However, when heavy rains fall, even quiet springs can become ranging rivers, spilling their banks and flooding area roadways. It only takes six inches to a foot of standing water to stall a car and wash it off the road. The safest policy is to turn around when you encounter a flooded roadway.
4) How to Deal with Storm Damage
Hail, limbs, and debris from summer storms can damage your vehicle. With small dents and minor dings, it can be tempting to ignore the damage and avoid the potential hassles of body shops and insurance; however, even minor damage can chip your car’s paint, which leads to rust. Rust can break down your car’s paint further, diminishing its value, and damaging the body beyond repair.