VERIFY: Is it a good thing to see sun during a severe storm?

Verify: Is it good to see sun during severe weather?

As we work to keep you weather aware during this severe weather.

Earlier Wednesday on our Facebook, we made this post about how people may be seeing the sun shining through the clouds, and it got a lot of people talking.

Kim Farmer says, "I think mother nature is just toying with us. I've been watching the sun pop in and out of the clouds for almost an hour now."

While over in East Dublin, Shaketha McGregor says, "The rain has stopped, the sun is out, and it is actually looking pretty good outside now. How afraid should I be?"


So Nicole Butler wanted to Verify, is it a good sign to see the sun during a severe weather event?

Here are the sources she used to Verify the facts. 

Our morning meteorologist Pat Cavlin, our weekend meteorologist Matt Daniel, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

It's not raining, the sun is shining, and that may seem like some pretty good signs, but our meteorologist Pat Cavlin says don't get comfortable. This is just the calm before the storm.


"We call this self-destructive sunshine. The sun comes out, peeks through the clouds, warms the ground up only to get disrupted again by clouds that grow as a result of that sunshine," Cavlin says.

Our weather team verifies that the sunshine you may be seeing is a result of these short breaks between waves of storms. 

Meteorologist Matt Daniel says he's been getting questions about this break quite a bit, and can understand the confusion.

"Well, a lot of times you think you see the sunshine, you see the blue sky, and you think it's a good thing, and most of the time, it is, but when those storms take in all that moisture and heat, they grow, they get stronger and that's when we have that worry about seeing maybe strong or severe storms, so it's not a good thing," Daniel says. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also verifies that there are three ingredients needed to form a thunderstorm: high amounts of moisture, a front to act as a trigger, and, you guessed it, sunshine to provide the energy.

Daniel breaks down step by step how these ingredients form a severe storm.

"If you stepped outside it feels very muggy. It almost feels like the beach came to Central Georgia, so that right there is the moisture that those storms need to form, grow, and develop. When you have heat, warm air rises so as that warm air rises it condenses becomes clouds. Those clouds grow and you get more rain and you get those storms. So they go hand and hand you get the heat you get the humidity that's a key ingredient to see strong storms," Daniel says. 


So is it a good thing to see sun during severe weather? This is false.

However, once the storms have cleared, and it is no longer humid outside a lot of people will be looking forward to more sunshine.

Daniel says that you will can go outside when there are breaks in between the storms, but make sure you stay weather aware because sunshine doesn't mean the storm has passed. 

VERIFY: Sources

Pat Cavlin, 13WMAZ Morning Meteorologist

Matt Daniel, 13WMAZ Weekend Meteorologist

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

VERIFY: Resources

READ: Severe Weather 101, NOAA website

 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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