Suffolk’s storms normal for season

Published 6:52 pm Thursday, August 6, 2009

Suffolk was treated to a show Wednesday night, put on by none other than Mother Nature.

A fierce thunderstorm ripped through Southeastern Virginia Wednesday, bring with it a series of lightning strikes and more than two inches of rain in Suffolk, according to the National Weather Service.

Suffolk spokesperson Debbie George said no major damages were reported as a result of the storm.

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“This is fairly typical in terms of storms for this time of year,” said James Foster, a hydro-meteorological technician for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Wakefield. “This is what we can expect for the summer months.”

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, summer is a peak time for storms, because warm, humid conditions are highly favorable for thunderstorm development.

While the city has been hit with more thunderstorms in the past week, the region is still slightly below the normal amount of rain for this time last year.

According to the measuring station located in Norfolk, the area has received 28.13 inches of rain year to date, which is about .11 inches below the 2008 level.

Foster added that, again, the area is getting the normal amount of rainfall given the season and should expect more storms in the weeks to come.

“This is right close to pretty normal,” he said. “Generally, you can expect maybe 10 days of storms per month during this time of year. We have had some dry years, but those would be the more abnormal events.”

FEMA has listed a series of tips on how to stay safe during a lightning storm on its Web site, www.fema.gov/hazard. Those include:

Avoid contact with corded phones

Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. If you plan to unplug any electronic equipment, do so well before the storm arrives.

Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, do not take a shower, do not wash dishes, and do not do laundry.

Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.

Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls.