Jonathan: Some severe weather myths that could cost you your lif - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Jonathan: Some severe weather myths that could cost you your life


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- When it comes to severe weather and safety, there are many myths that go along with them.

Those myths are common misconceptions, but if followed could cost you your life.

NewsCenter meteorologist Jonathan Kegges takes us behind a few popular myths and shows us what is actually fact.

Hollywood has played a big role in our first myth. Recently released "Man of Steel" shows people on a highway racing for an overpass to protect themselves from a tornado. The age old classic "Twister" also shows our stars running for cover under an overpass. It may seem like a good idea, but you're putting yourself in even more danger underneath the overpass. The reason is strong winds at the base of the tornado are being concentrated in a confined space causing the winds to become even stronger. Think of when you put your thumb over a garden hose. The water flow increases greatly. Getting in a ditch is a much better idea.

Our second myth applies if you are at home when severe weather strikes. It's been said low pressure with a tornado causes structures to explode and opening windows will equalize the pressure and save your house or building. This couldn't be any further from the truth. It's the violent winds and debris being thrown in the tornado that cause the structural damage. Opening your windows will have no effect and you should use that extra time to seek shelter. Every second counts in a tornado.

On average 52 people die each year from lightning, some in the comfort of their own home, which is the safest place to be. But there are things you shouldn't do during a thunderstorm. Stay away from windows is the big one, but also don't talk on the phone or take a bath or shower. If your house is hit, lightning will travel thought plumbing and wires.

These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to severe weather.

Another big one you hear all of the time is get into the southwest corner of the basement. That provides you no more protection than any other part. Debris would be coming from everywhere so just find the innermost room in the basement if possible.

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