Meteorologist Ken Weathers answers your severe weather questions

Meteorologist Ken Weathers answers your severe weather questions

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Some newer homes use a network of plumbing known as PVC or plastic which will not conduct an electrical charge. But if you're unsure, wait until the storm passes to shower. Some newer homes use a network of plumbing known as PVC or plastic which will not conduct an electrical charge. But if you're unsure, wait until the storm passes to shower.

By KEN WEATHERS
6 Storm Team Meteorologist

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Do you know what to do to keep your family safe in a storm? You may think you have the right answer, but it turns out, you may not.

East Tennessee can have wild weather and I often get asked about weather safety. Here are some of the questions I get asked the most:
 
Are you safe from a lightning strike in your car?

The answer is yes, but do you know why? It's not the rubber in the tires that keeps you safe. Most shoes have rubber soles, but that doesn't prevent you from being struck by lightning.

It is actually the metal of the car that acts like a "cage" that keeps you safe. The current from the electrical charge strikes the car and travels safely around the outside frame and disperses safely into the ground.

Is it safe to take a shower or bath during a thunderstorm?

The answer to this is not completely. Lightning has the ability to strike a house or near it and travel through its metal or electrical framework.

Most houses have plumbing made of metal pipes, especially copper pipes, which are excellent conductors of electricity.

Some newer homes use a network of plumbing known as PVC or plastic which will not conduct an electrical charge, but if you are unsure of which type you have, remember this: "When in doubt, wait it out." You can take a shower after the storm has passed.

If you see a tornado while driving, is it OK to seek shelter under a bridge or overpass?

The answer is no. Years ago a TV crew filmed themselves and other motorists taking refuge from a tornado under a bridge in Kansas.

They survived, but they were lucky. Winds from a tornado can actually accelerate when wind flow gets restricted.

As an example, water flows from a hose at a constant rate, but when you put your thumb over the end of it, you're not changing the rate of the water, but you're increasing the flow or speed of the stream. The same thing can happen with winds under a bridge.

I hope you'll remember these safety tips the next time severe weather strikes.

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