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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Memorial Day weekend will be celebrated by millions of Americans with family barbecues and trips on the water. Even though thunderstorms will not be widespread, they cannot be ruled out completely, so the National Safe Boating Council and the National Weather Service want to remind you about a few thunderstorm safety tips before heading out on the water this weekend.
Thunderstorms, regardless of whether they are severe or not, can be a mariner's worst nightmare, especially for ocean bound vessels. Storms can pop up quickly, creating strong, shifty winds and large waves. That's not all. They produce heavy downpours, lightning and even waterspouts.
Lightning will be produced in all thunderstorms, whether the storm is severe or not. If you are caught on the water in a storm, head inside the cabin if your boat has one. If not, stay as low in the boat as possible to avoid making yourself a target.
If you're out and see nearby storms, head to port as quickly as possible. Thunderstorms tend to be brief, so waiting it out ashore is a much better option than attempting to ride it out.
For more information, visit the National Weather Service on the web at www.weather.gov and the National Safe Boating Council at www.safeboatingcouncil.org.