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Severe thunderstorm watch North Texas early Tuesday morning NWS

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for multiple Texas counties until 4 a.m. Stay safe during thunderstorms with these important tips. #StaySafeThunderstorms

The National Weather Service (NWS) Fort Worth TX issued a severe thunderstorm watch on Monday at 10:21 p.m., effective until Tuesday at 4 a.m. This watch covers Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Fannin, Grayson, Hopkins, Hunt, Jack, Lamar, Montague, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, and Wise counties.

Lightning strikes the United States approximately 25 million times each year, with the majority occurring during the summer months. These strikes result in around 20 fatalities annually, as reported by the NWS. The risk of being struck by lightning increases as a thunderstorm approaches, peaking when the storm is directly overhead and decreasing as it moves away.

To stay safe during a thunderstorm, consider the following tips:

- Establish a plan to reach a safe place when going outside to reduce the risk of being struck by lightning.
- Seek shelter in a safe location if the sky darkens and thunder is heard.
- Avoid contact with corded phones, electrical equipment, plumbing, windows, and doors while indoors.
- Wait at least 30 minutes after the last lightning or thunder before going back outside.
- Stay away from tall trees or other elevated structures, and if in a forest, stick close to shorter tree groupings.
- Space out from others in a group to prevent the transfer of current between individuals.
- If camping in an open area, set up camp in a valley, ravine, or low spot, as tents do not provide protection from lightning.
- Avoid water, wet objects, and metal items, as they conduct electricity effectively.
- Use headlights on the road to enhance visibility and signal your presence to other drivers.
- Opt for middle lanes and higher ground while driving to avoid puddles and flooded areas.

Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle slides uncontrollably on wet roads due to water building up in front of the tire faster than the vehicle's weight can push it away. The three main causes of hydroplaning are vehicle speed, water depth, and tire tread depth. In the event of hydroplaning, ease off the accelerator, turn into the skid, wait for the tires to reconnect with the road, and brake gently as needed.

By following these safety tips and being aware of the risks associated with thunderstorms and hydroplaning, individuals can better protect themselves and others during severe weather conditions. Stay informed, stay safe, and be prepared for any weather-related challenges that may arise.

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