When Nature Strikes: Flash Floods
Almost anywhere you are, heavy rainfall can produce a dangerous flash flood. Even if you are camping high on a mountain, a slow-moving thunderstorm can cause streams to rise quickly and threaten your campsite. Flash floods can occur in areas that are far away from where the rain falls: you could be riding in a car in a desert and water which fell many miles away in the mountains can rush toward you down what is normally a dry stream bed.
This episode of "When Nature Strikes" teaches you that flash floods are one of the deadliest weather threats in the U.S. During the past thirty years, more than 125 people each year have been killed by flash flooding. For comparison, on average, 73 people are killed by lightning, 68 by tornadoes, and 16 by hurricanes, although these numbers can vary greatly from year to year.
After you read the discussion, play the accompanying 'Jeopardy Game'.
"What Should You Do When Flash Floods Threaten" classroom activity
"When Nature Strikes" is produced by NBC Learn in partnership with the National Science Foundation.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
There are two main types of thunderstorms: ordinary and severe. Ordinary thunderstorms are the common summer storm. They are usually multicell. Multicell storms consist of a line of thunderstorms in different...more
Rain is precipitation that falls to the Earth in drops of 5mm or greater in diameter according to the US National Weather Service. Virga is rain that evaporates before reaching the ground. Raindrops form...more
Deserts are full of interesting questions. How can anything survive in a place with hardly any water? Why is it so dry to begin with? You can find at least one desert on every continent except Europe....more
Lightning is the most spectacular element of a thunderstorm. In fact it is how thunderstorms got their name. Wait a minute, what does thunder have to do with lightning? Well, lightning causes thunder....more
As a strong hurricane heads towards a vulnerable coast, people take precautions - boarding up houses, packing the car, and evacuating. These massive storms can spell disaster for people in hurricane prone...more
Below is a list of some weather conditions that call for an advisory, watch, or warning. Heat Advisory/Warning: A heat advisory is issued when the daytime temperature will be 105ºF (40.6ºC) for three hours...more
Altocumulus clouds (weather symbol - Ac), are made primarily of liquid water and have a thickness of 1 km. They are part of the Middle Cloud group (2000-7000m up). They are grayish-white with one part...more