Severe weather myths debunked

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 11:34 AM

Myths and Facts about weather

Many myths surround severe weather and Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs and Kirstie Zontini wanted to debunk a few.


  • Myth 1: Lightning never strikes when the skies are clear. 

This is a common myth associated with storms. It is false though because lightning can strike 10 to 15 miles away from a parent storm. These strikes are called “bolts from the blue.” If you hear thunder go inside.  

  • Myth 2: It’s safe to drive a truck through floodwaters. 

This is also false. Water over the roads can actually be hiding deeper spots in the road like a sinkhole which can be dangerous even in a truck. Also, it only takes about 2 feet of rushing water to wash away a car. 

  • Myth 3: Small sized hail isn’t dangerous.

This is actually not true! A thunderstorm with strong winds can make any sized hail dangerous.  

  • Myth 4: Cities are safe from tornadoes. 
This is a big myth. Tornadoes can develop anywhere. Big cities like Dallas, Salt Lake City and Miami have all had reported tornadoes. An urban environment will also have more debris to throw around as well. 

Heat builds ahead of Monday’s solar eclipse

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 6:33 AM
Updated: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 6:00 PM

Looking towards a hot and humid day for the solar eclipse across the Miami Valley

An isolated shower can’t be ruled out this evening, but most will stay dry, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said. Overnight, clouds decrease and temperatures drop into the lower to middle 60s.


  • Temperatures on the rise Sunday, Monday
  • Chance for rain returns Tuesday
  • Cooler, less humid Wednesday, Thursday

RELATED: Total Solar Eclipse Weather Forecast

Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini


Sunday: Mostly sunny skies are expected to start the day, with partly cloudy skies for the afternoon. Highs will be in the middle to upper 80s.

>> County-by-county forecasts

5-Day Temperature Trend(Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

#SkyWitness7 Great American Eclipse Info

Monday: The day of the Great American Eclipse will be hot and humid. There will be a good amount of sunshine with a few daytime clouds mixed in during the afternoon. Highs will be in the upper 80s with some spots in the lower 90s. Heat Index values will be in the lower to middle 90. If you are planning to be outside to watch the solar eclipse, wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.

MORE: WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Tuesday: Showers and thunderstorms return as a strong cold front moves through. Highs will be in the middle 80s.

Yard Work Forecast(Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

Wednesday: It cools off and dries out under partly sunny skies and highs in the middle to upper 70s.

Thursday: The day will be pleasant and cooler than normal with highs in the middle 70s under partly sunny skies.

Great American Eclipse: How to spot fake glasses, handheld viewers

Published: Friday, July 28, 2017 @ 11:04 PM

Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs and Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini explain how to make a solar eclipse pinhole projector with items you have around the house.

The Great American Eclipse will be an amazing sight to see Aug. 21 when it crosses the country coast to coast — the first time since 1918.

MORE: #SkyWitness7

Locally the eclipse won’t be total, but 90 percent, according to the Storm Center 7 meteorologist team.

RELATED: Get ready for the eclipse

Viewing the total solar eclipse requires specific eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers, not regular sunglasses.

It’s dangerous to look directly at the sun, especially during an eclipse without adequate eye protection.

WATCH: When will the solar eclipse be visible in your community?

"Even the tiniest sliver of a crescent sun peeking out from behind the moon emits enough light to scorch your eyes,” Ralph Chou, professor of optometry and vision science at the University of Waterloo in Canada told

Chou said about half of patients diagnosed with eclipse blindness regain full vision in six months. But the other half partially or never recover, he said.

RELATED: What you need to know about the Great American Eclipse

But how do you avoid getting scammed, and potentially blinded, by knockoff eclipse glasses targeting unsuspecting consumers? 

NASA gives advice on what to look for before buying eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers. Safe glasses, solar viewers must meet all the following criteria:

  • Certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard 
  • The manufacturer's name and address printed somewhere on the product 
  • Do not use if it’s older than three years or lenses have tears, scratches or wrinkles
  • Do not use homemade filters or regular sunglasses, even dark ones 

Leading up to the Great American Eclipse next month, the marketplace is being flooded by counterfeit glasses, which can falsely advertise they meet the international standard.

How do you know which manufacturers make safe eclipse glasses and solar viewers?

NASA and the American Astronomical Society said there are five manufacturers that meet the international standard to look directly at the sun.

They are:

  • American Paper Optics
  • Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold film only)
  • Rainbow Symphony
  • Thousand Oaks Optica
  • TSE 17 

Approved retail chains selling certified glasses are

  • Best Buy 
  • Bi-Mart 
  • Casey's General Store 
  • Hobby Town 
  • Kirklands 
  • Kroger 
  • Lowe's 
  • Maverik
  • 7-Eleven
  • Pilot/Flying J 
  • Walmart

NASA also recommends that whatever recommended safety device you use, give your eyes a few breaks and do not stare continuously at the sun. Keep your special glasses on throughout the eclipse.

NASA: Eclipse 101

Where can you find solar eclipse glasses or solar viewers?

You can purchase the glasses on the manufacturer’s websites or through online retailers. Or, you might be able to find a free pair from your local library. Check your library to find out availability. 

You can keep for solar eclipse glasses for the next eclipse event in 2024, as long as they haven’t been damaged.


What’s the weather forecast for Monday’s solar eclipse?

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 8:02 AM

Looking towards a hot and humid day for the solar eclipse across the Miami Valley

The Great American Solar Eclipse will take place August 21st, with the Miami Valley enjoying a partial eclipse with about 89% of the sun eclipsed.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about the 2017 solar eclipse

The viewing will begin around 1 p.m. with the max eclipse around 2:28 p.m. This means plenty of people will be outside during the peak heating hours of the day.

RELATED: How to watch the Great American Eclipse safely

RELATED: Where to get solar eclipse glasses in the Dayton area

Make sure you DO NOT look directly at the sun even for a few seconds unless you have ISO compliant solar eclipse glasses.

RELATED: Can’t find eclipse glasses? Here are some other options

The day will warm up quickly with most of the eclipse time-frame in the mid to upper 80s. Dew points will be in the 60s so it will feel muggy as well. 

Heat index values can reach the low 90s that day so please make sure you have plenty of water to stay hydrated and take breaks outside if you feel like you are overheating. 

There will be a good deal of sunshine especially early but as the day goes on some high clouds and a few fair weather clouds look to develop. We are lucky that the forecast will stay dry to enjoy the show! 

Few showers Saturday; heating up for Monday’s solar eclipse

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 5:22 AM
Updated: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 5:40 PM

A brief round of showers expected to start the weekend.

Partly cloudy skies and comfortable conditions are expected through the evening with temperatures falling into the 70s, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs said.


  • Quiet and comfortable evening
  • A few showers around early Saturday
  • Heating up for Monday solar eclipse

RELATED: What’s the weather forecast for Monday’s eclipse? 

5 Day Forecast with Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs


Overnight: Clouds increase with a few showers possible to the northwest by sunrise. Lows will be in the middle 60s.

>> County-by-county forecasts

Saturday: A few showers in spots start the day. Isolated thunderstorms are possible, but no severe weather is expected. It dries out into the late afternoon and evening. Highs will reach around 80 degrees. Skies clear into Saturday night, when it cools off into the lower 60s. Areas of fog develop by Sunday morning.

Temperature Trend(Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs)

WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Sunday: Some morning fog will burn off, giving way to mostly sunny skies for the afternoon. It warms up and will become a bit more humid for the afternoon with temperatures in the upper 80s.

Monday (Great American Eclipse day): A hot and humid day expected. Temperatures will climb to nearly 90 degrees, but the humidity will make it feel like the lower 90s. Sunshine and some later afternoon scattered clouds are possible, though a good view for the eclipse is expected.

Humidity Trend(Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs)

>> Dew point and humidity: What’s the difference?

Tuesday: Dry early, then clouds increase into the afternoon with a chance for showers and storms into the evening and overnight. Highs will be in the upper 80s.

Wednesday: Some leftover showers are possible to start the day. Clouds break for some afternoon sunshine, when it will become a bit breezy. Highs reach around 80 degrees.