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Fact or Fiction: Myth-busting extreme weather claims

Meteorologist Joe DeCarlo puts a few popular weather myths to the test to bust misleading claims.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — There are many weather myths that circulate throughout the internet. Some of these myths are untrue and can prove to be extremely dangerous. It is important to know which of these myths are false, in case you are confronted with a dangerous weather situation.

Myth: Tornadoes only occur over open fields

Truth: Tornadoes can happen anywhere as long as the conditions are right. In order to form a tornado, there must be four elements in place in the atmosphere. These elements are lift, instability, moisture, and shear. If these are present in the atmosphere, you can get a tornado just about anywhere.

Myth: Storms only move from west to east

Truth: Although this is the common direction of movement, especially in West Texas, atmospheric conditions determine which way a storm moves, and that can be in any direction.

Myth: Overpasses provide great shelter from tornadoes

Truth: Overpasses provide a tunnel of extreme winds and are extremely dangerous during tornadoes. Anywhere above ground is dangerous during a tornado.

Myth: Crack your windows during a tornado to keep your house from exploding

Truth: There is no scientific evidence to support the fact that tornadoes will cause a build-up of pressure inside your home so great to cause an explosion. Cracking your window will allow winds and debris easy access to your home.

Myth: You are safe from lightning if you are inside your home

Truth: Electrical appliances, wires, telephone cords, and water pipes are all lightning conductors and pose a risk to you and your family.

Myth: It never rains in San Angelo because there is a dome around the city.

Truth: San Angelo is located in the Concho Valley. In a valley, sinking air gets warmer which increases the amount of moisture it can absorb. This creates an arid region. There is no dome.