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Do certain weather conditions scare you?

Thursday, October 9th, 2008 4:02pm MDT
Scared of the weather?  Maybe you have a weather phobia!

Scared of the weather? Maybe you have a weather phobia!

As recently reported in the Washington Times, if you find yourself suffering anxiety or fear from hurricanes, tornadoes or other weather phenomena, you are not alone. 

In 2006 researches at the University of Iowa surveyed 139 adults.  Of those more than half felt panicked by big storms and only a quarter felt no fears at all about the weather.  During severe weather season it is not unusual to be quite concerned and touched by a bit of fear when you live in an area that is in danger such as along the Gulf Coast during hurricane season or closer to home here in Colorado when a tornado warning is issued.  Most anyone would experience anxiety over an approaching storm that threatens to damage life and property. 

Certainly one can help limit stress about severe weather by being knowledgeable about the type of weather and by extension, remaining calm.  Oftentimes fear is caused by the unknown and if you are more aware and learned on the topic, you are more able to deal with the stress.  Further, a bit of fear can help you survive a situation simply because you are more in tune and aware of what is going on. 

A true phobia though is by definition, “an uncontrollable, irrational, and persistent fear of a specific object, situation, or activity.”  Professional help of course is most likely the best way to deal with phobias.  We have all heard about extremely odd phobia such as the fear of drinking (Dipsophobia) or the fear of lice (Phthiriophobia).  As it turns out there is an entire range of phobias specifically related to weather as well. Davis Weather Instruments recently compiled a list of some of the weather-related phobias including:

  • Ancraophobia or Anemophobia – Fear of wind
  • Astraphobia, Astrapophobia, Ceraunophobia, Keraunophobia – Fear of thunder and lightning
  • Auroraphobia- Fear of Northern lights
  • Chionophobia- Fear of snow
  • Frigophobia, Cheimaphobia, Cheimatophobia, Psychrophobia – Fear of cold or cold things
  • Homichlophobia or Nebulaphobia – Fear of fog
  • Lilapsophobia – Fear of tornadoes and hurricanes
  • Ombrophobia or Pluviophobia – Fear of rain or of being rained on
  • Pagophobia- Fear of ice or frost
  • Phengophobia- Fear of daylight or sunshine
  • Tonitrophobia- Fear of thunder

For more information:  Washington Times – Storms brewing in our heads

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