Talk:Severe weather

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A usable travel topic "Has at least a good overview of the topic, and some useful material under each outline heading.". Would you say this is usable already or is there some widespread form of severe weather that isn't mentioned in the article yet? ϒpsilon (talk) 04:58, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

Hail is mentioned but there is no detail. Flash floods are covered, but what about other floods? Sleet? Mudslides or avalanches brought on by weather? Cold weather, arid regions & tornadoes are linked under "see also", but not discussed; should they have a sentence or two each plus the link? Pashley (talk) 05:34, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

Lahar and Jökulhlaup[edit]

Should we mention them both? They seem similar but not the same Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:43, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

The jökulhlaups are now mentioned, although not by name. Lahars are not, and neither are mudslides or avalanches. Lahars are not about weather, but should be mentioned in Volcanoes. Mudslides should probably be handled here, after flash floods. I know too little to say anything but trivialities about them. --LPfi (talk) 20:55, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

What about Dust?[edit]

Maybe more a consideration for Hot weather and Arid region safety, but there are regions that get dust storms. Worth mentioning in the article? ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 10:30, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

Beijing sometimes gets them, most recent one in May: Guardian BBC Pashley (talk) 11:58, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

Unprepared areas?[edit]

w:Hurricane Hazel did extensive damage in Haiti & the US as a cat 4 storm, but even after losing much of its power it caused a lot of damage (81 dead, thousands homeless) around Toronto, I think partly because hurricanes are uncommon in Canada & we are not prepared for them.

Canadians sometimes laugh when American cities are shut down by some amount of snow we'd consider trivial, but without snow plows, snow tires or winter driving skills, those cities have genuine problems. Is this the reverse, a Canadian city knocked out by a storm that Florida or the Carolinas might shrug off, because we do not have storm shutters, levees, etc.?

Is this worth discussion in the article? I'm inclined to think not since such events are quite rare, but it seems worth asking for other opinions. Pashley (talk) 12:04, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

Well yes, obviously a cold weather city will be better equipped to survive a blizzard than a hurricane and vice versa. Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:18, 14 May 2018 (UTC)

Slow-moving storms[edit]

Hurricanes Are Moving More Slowly, Which Means More Damage Pashley (talk) 11:47, 7 June 2018 (UTC)

The new table[edit]

So I did some work on the design of the temperature conversion table, and here's the difference:

The old:

←frigid freezing cold cool mild warm hot swelter cooked→
°C  -40 -18 -10 -7 0 4 7 10 13 15 18 21 24 26 30 32 35 38
°F  -40 0 14 20 32 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100

Versus the new:

frigid freezing cold cool mild warm hot swelter cooked
°C  -40 -18 -10 -7 0 4 7 10 13 15 18 21 24 26 30 32 35 38
°F  -40 0 14 20 32 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100

I'd like to get the new one spaced out horizontally a little more, but I'm not sure how I can do that and still get the table to work. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 17:26, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

Also, a user gave me the horizontal spacing. So it's no longer needed, thanks. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 14:49, 5 September 2018 (UTC)

Table in Severe weather[edit]

Swept in from the pub

In the Severe weather article I redesigned the table and it looks pretty good. However, some of the horizontal gaps between the numbers are rather small. What’s the best way to increase the gaps? Thanks.

Also, you can go to Talk:Severe weather to compare the old and new table designs and you can view sections of the new table design at Cold weather and Hot weather. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 20:25, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

I added some padding for you.
But the contents seem wrong. Since when is cooler-than-room-temperature "warm"? And 75 °F isn't "hot"; that's barely warm enough for me to start wearing short sleeves. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:42, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
I don't think I ever changed the temperatures, but I think you're right that they are a little low. What I'd say is that on the original chart the higher temperatures for each temperature type were in bold, so it might have made more sense. But I'd agree that they should be adjusted a few degrees. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 03:19, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
The contents were discussed earlier (on the metric and imperial page?), but I think it is hard to reach any consensus. For me, 18–21°C is room temperature, which is warm, and I start wearing short sleaves at 60°F. And I wouldn't call 20–40°F cold (unless it is supposed to be summer). For Severe weather the -10–30°C/15–85°F range is rather irrelevant, while that is the range the table concentrates on. I do not know how to present the temperatures in a way meaningful for those who haven't experienced them. Other than perhaps the freezing point and 35°C/95°F, which is mortal for humans in 100% relative humidity (the body core will get warm enough for proteins to coagulate). --LPfi (talk) 13:34, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
If it lasts long enough, and if you don't have access to cooling options such as fans, swimming pools, cold drinks, or air conditioning. Also, AFAICT that combination has never happened in recorded history. The equivalent dewpoint (a slightly higher temperature and slightly lower humidity, but the same net effect) has briefly happened; it set a world record in 2003. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:36, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
I agree with WhatamIdoing here. I wouldn’t ever wear short sleeves at 60 Fahrenheit and I’d definitely call 20 to 40 Fahrenheit cold. I think we should move all the numbers on the table to the left, and add one at the right end, so it makes more sense. I’ve never been out in 20 F weather, but I’d probably like 95 more. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 18:52, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
That you've never been in 20 F weather might explain something. That is a warm winter day (the recommended limit for having babies take naps outdoors is below 0 F). And if I waited for 75 F until changing to short sleeves there would not be many days to use them (except the summer we experienced this year). So the characterization is highly subjective, but fans won't help you at 95/100 (air conditioning lowering the temperature helps of course, as does access to cool drinks/showers/pools). Anyway, the characterization might serve most of our readers. --LPfi (talk) 14:50, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
Does your home area perhaps not see those temperatures very often? I lived (for 20 years) in several places where 95/100 °F was a perfectly typical summertime temperature – you just planned for at least 30 days of that each year – and usually without either air conditioning or a swimming pool. I can tell you that a fan still helps on such days, just like going outside on a hot-but-windy day is more tolerable than going outside on an equally hot-and-still day. As a general rule, a fan provides the equivalent of 5 °F cooling, no matter what the temperature is. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:45, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
I am not talking out of experience, but a fan works in two ways: replacing air you made warmer with cooler air (works in sub 35°C) and replacing air moist from your sweat with drier air (works in less than 100 % relative humidity). At 35/100 there is no way a fan could keep your skin cooler than 35, which is too much. The 100 % humidity is of course not common in most places (here also the 35°C is a once-in-recorded-history event). --LPfi (talk) 18:08, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
No, in Finland temperatures don't go above +30°C (86°F) every summer. But I think many, if not most, WV contributors do come from parts of the world where such temperatures are common, but instead temperatures below freezing (during daytime at least?) are rare.
And, in addition to what has been mentioned above, your level of activity also very much determines how you perceive the temperature. --ϒpsilon (talk) 19:19, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I don't think our "normal" temperature standards shouldn't be set by Finland's climate. A better choice for average climate would be somewhere around 40—45 degrees north and close to sea level — maybe somewhere like southern France would be a good standard for what's hot and what's cold. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 19:23, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

Of course we should not set our standard according to Finland. But I am not sure southern France is much better, or southern India, or central Zaire. Ideally our temperature descriptions would stand on their own, without one having to be acquainted to whatever climate we use as "standard". Having that standard implicit makes matters worse: how can one know that it is southern France and not Paris or the Canary Islands that is our normal? --LPfi (talk) 21:49, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
We can argue about this forever. Maybe we should just keep the tables as they are, since otherwise there will be a huge debate over something that doesn't really matter. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 22:04, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

White-out advice[edit]

I am somewhat troubled by his paragraph (also compare to Winter driving, which also tells about white-outs, some info should perhaps be copied either way after we find out what advice to give):

When driving in a white-out (blizzard-like conditions with minuscule visibility), drive slower than the posted speed limit with your high-beams on, but not too slow as to cause vehicles behind you from hitting you. In most places the roads will have some form of marker to follow. Do not pull over and park your car unless it is your last resort, as doing so may cause the car to be buried by snow, making it extremely difficult if not impossible for rescue workers to find you until the snow has melted. Remember: the best option for white-out conditions is to not go out at all, but if you are caught in this scenario the best chances of survival are much like that of high fog.

Why should you have high beams on? Doen't that make any snowfall a white-out? Are you afraid of reckless drivers meeting in high speed?

Not pulling over because your car might get buried might be good advice somewhere, but e.g. here in Finland snowfall hardly ever exceeds half a metre, which is not enough to hide a car. If you just pull over you will certainly get stuck (and in worst case hit) when snowploughs clear the road, but mostly some labour with a spade is enough to get you going again. Waiting at a parking lot somewhere is definitely better than driving on a highway balancing between hitting slower vehicles in front or being hit by faster vehicles from the rear, or losing control.

I suppose what to do depends on what road you are driving and how much snow you are expecting. This should be fixed in some way, but I do not know what advice would be general enough.

--LPfi (talk) 17:24, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

If I remember right, you live in a snowy area. I don't. So I can't give my opinion on this; if you know some things about the subject, feel free to improve the article. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 01:40, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
I do, but we do not have the massive snowfall of some parts of Norway and North America, and I use a car seldom enough that I never have experienced a real white-out on the road in person. The advice in Winter driving now reads "you may not be able to see anything through the windshield. Try rolling down the window and sticking your head outside. Then, find a safe place to get off the road and stay there until conditions improve.", which sounds sensible. Whether that safe place can be the shoulder probably depends on many factors, and whether getting stuck in a car soon buried in the snow is dangerous also depends e.g. on whether you have to stay in the car for the shelter. Here in Finland you'd probably use your spade to free the car and continue as soon as weather improves (or call a tow, if the shoulder was narrower than you thought).
I'd like to hear comments from some of our Canadian or northern USA regulars, and of course from the non-registered editor adding the advice. Norwegian advice might also be needed. @Pashley, K7L, Ikan Kekek, MMKK2, Erik den yngre:.
--LPfi (talk) 10:09, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
No comment, because I don't drive. I may ask my girlfriend if she has an opinion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:11, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Using the high beams is useless as they'll merely be reflected back to you, lowering visibility even further. Open rural highway (be it two lanes or a big wide motorway) is usually worse for visibility as there are no street lights; the undivided two-lane road is likely more dangerous due to the risk of hitting an oncoming vehicle. Pulling into the nearest village (or the next safe place) may be reasonable as there'd be some light and a tiny improvement in visibility. Pulling off at the side of the road does risk getting stuck (or getting hit by other traffic). Even driving slowly on major freeways may mean being buried in slush from passing heavy goods vehicles who are notorious for refusing to slow down for conditions; this just adds to the visibility issues. The four-way flashers might be useful to make yourself visible. It's also worth carrying a shovel, blankets, salt or sand and other supplies in case you get stuck. A mobile telephone can be used to reach *CAA/*AAA or other roadside assistance, but that will likely incur a long wait when the going gets icy. If stranded in a remote location, it may be best to stay with your vehicle as it at least provides some limited amount of shelter. By all means, get off the road at the first safe opportunity - even if that's some tiny hamlet at the next off-ramp - or don't travel in the worst winter conditions if it can be avoided. There are some mountain passes (including the Rogers Pass on the Trans-Canada Highway) where the road is routinely closed during blizzard conditions due to avalanche risk; in that case, you have no choice but to stop.
That said, of course it never snows in Canada; we're a glorious tropical paradise. Maybe someone from Buffalo would like to chime in, before that town is buried for the winter? :) K7L (talk) 19:45, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Re high-beam: Headlight should be on during daytime to make your car visible to others, but during snowfall in darkness low beam (and reduced speed) is usually better as the driver is not blinded by the reflection. Front fog lights can also be useful (headlights off). During heavy snowfall I also experimented driving with parking lights only (and very slowly), while not legal sometimes the only option. Erik den yngre (talk) 22:59, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

If stranded, the best thing is usually to stay in the vehicle instead of walking. If visibilty and driving conditions are really difficult, sometimes the only sensible thing to do is simply to park in a safe place and wait until the weather improves. Pulling over on the side of a high speed main road may not be a good idea.Erik den yngre (talk) 23:06, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

I'm the Buffalonian who K7L was presumably calling out. Yeah, high beams during a blizzard are a bad idea. This advice should definitely be excised from the article. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:47, 10 December 2018 (UTC)
Staying in the vehicle is definitely good advice. Out of the wind, easier to find & you cannot get lost. My dad was an RCMP officer on the Canadian prairies & cops under his command more than once found frozen bodies of people who'd tried to walk to safety during a blizzard. Pashley (talk) 06:33, 10 December 2018 (UTC)


Swept in from the pub

Currently a stub in Severe Weather... Is a wider article giving explanations and possible regions where it occurs viable? If not I won't start one.ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 18:17, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

I don't think it could really support its own article. It's a hazard, albeit a relatively minor one with the application of common sense, and it's certainly not a tourist attraction! By all means expand the fog section of the Severe Weather article, if there's anything else to say.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 19:16, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
Severe weather is a lowercase on the second word, if you need to link to it in future. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:33, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
I believe we also have Air pollution, which is a relevant topic. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:52, 4 September 2019 (UTC)