Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 1:34pm

Are You Afraid of the Weather?

Weather Talk

POSTED: Monday, March 17, 2014 - 10:29am

UPDATED: Monday, March 17, 2014 - 10:46am

Many people have weather related phobias; some of them may be surprising!

We all have our phobias we have developed and have had to deal with throughout our lives. Many people are afraid of public speaking, some are deathly afraid of heights or flying in an airplane. Many others are really afraid of snakes, spiders or even dogs! Well thanks to an increase in the frequency and severity of recent weather events there has also been an increase in the number of weather-related phobias. In today’s “Weather Talk” I will present most o these weather phobias to you, tell you some of their symptoms and even briefly explain a few for you.

The following are seven such phobias. Each is named for the Greek word of the weather event it's related to.

Achluophobia - Fear of darkness
Ancraophobia - Fear of wind
Anemophobia - Fear or wind
Antlophobia - Fear of floods
Astraphobia - Fear of thunder and lightning
Astrapophobia - Fear of thunder and lightning
Brontophobia - Fear of thunder and lightning
Ceraunophobia - Fear of thunder
Chionophobia - Fear of snow
Cremnophobia - Fear of precipices
Cryophobia - Fear of ice/frost
Cymophobia - Fear of waves or wave like motions
Eosophobia - Fear of dawn or daylight
Heliophobia - Fear of sun/light
Homichlophobia - Fear of fog/mist/smoke/steam
Keraunophobia - Fear of thunder
Kalimeraphobia or labilephobia - fear of global warming
Lilapsophobia - Fear of tornadoes and hurricanes
Lygophobia - Fear of darkness
Nephelophobia - Fear of clouds
Nephophobia - Fear of fog
Noctiphobia - Fear of the night
Ombrophobia - Fear of rain
Pagophobia - Fear of cold, ice and frost
Pluviophobia - Fear of rain
Psychrophobia - Fear of cold
Scotophobia - Fear of darkness
Thermophobia - Fear of heat
Tonitrophobia - Fear of thunder

Here are some of the physical symptoms of a person who has Severe Weather Phobia:
* Nausea                             * Headaches              * Dizziness                      

* Difficulty breathing      * Increased heart rate       * Chest pains            

* Sweats and chills    * Stomachaches    * Lightheadedness

I will just define some of the most common weather phobias a little more.

Fear of Thunder and Lightning- Astraphobia is the most common of all weather fear. Young children and pets, especially dogs get scared and anxious during a strong lightning and thunderstorm. Nearly one third of the U.S.. population has astraphobia.

Fear of Tornadoes and Hurricanes- Lilapsophobia, but it more accurately describes a general fear of all severe weather types. This is thought of by some mental health professionals as a severe type of astraphobia. Many times this fear is develop after someone has gone through a tornado, hurricane or devastating weather event, or someone who has lost a relative or friend to a severe weather event, or has grown up learning this fear from family members or others.

Fear of Clouds - Nephelophobia this phobia can also be caused by or in association with the fear of severe weather. The dark growing cumulonimbus clouds are indications that potential severe or damaging weather could soon form. Many people who have this phobia are scared of the normal every day puffy clouds or the high, thin cirrus ice crystal clouds. For people with nephelophobia knowing that clouds form, grow and travel above our heads freaks them out.

Fear of the Wind –Ancraphobia or Anemophobia, People with the fear of wind would not do very well here in the Borderland! But for individuals with ancraophobia or anemophobia, any amount of wind or draft of air, even on a calm weather day is disturbing.
According to about.com; “For ancraophobes, feeling or hearing the wind blow is upsetting because it triggers a fear of its often destructive force, specifically its ability to down trees, cause structural damage to homes and other buildings, blow things away, and even "cut" or take away one's breath.

Fear of Fog- Nephophobia or Homichlophobia I had a friend who had a fear of fog. This friend, I and another high school buddy were hiking one day in the Colorado foothills. We look out over the lowlands and saw a giant bank of fog rolling in from the east. We looked down and the Denver skyline was covered, then the fog covered everything up to the bottom of the foothills. When the fog started creeping up the side of the hill, my friend started running down the mountain full speed. He was so scared he ran another 3 miles after that all the way home

Fear of Heat or Hot objects-Thermophobia is a temperature-related fear. People with this anxiety are extremely sensitive to hot weather, heat waves but they also do not like hot objects. These people I guess do not live in the desert southwest.

Fear of the Sun- Heliophobia I bet this is not a common phobia in El Paso with 84% sunshine, the third sunniest city in the United States!

Fear of Rain- Pluviophobia or Ombrophobia – Now this is something we just do not understand here in the desert! According to Phobiasource.com ; “People with pluviophobia or ombrophobia develop increased anxiousness following a heavy rainfall weather forecast. In some cases people may want to stock household and other items as a preventive measure.”

I do not want to make light of as these are real fears associated with weather, www.phobiasource.com is a good site to explain phobias even more and give some possible solutions.
I also found support group and blog on Face Book dedicated to supporting and helping people with weather phobia’s; https://www.facebook.com/SevereWX.Phobias‎
I hope this “Weather Talk” has given you some understanding of just how many weather phobias there are out there. Weather is truly amazing, but can be very dangerous in its extremes. That is why those of us involved with weather are always emphasizing the safety precautions needed in times of severe weather. Keeping a calm, cool head is always the best state to be in, but sometimes very difficult to maintain. If you do have a strong phobia it may be a good idea to talk to a professional about it. Many people are successfully relieved of their fears through counseling.

Chuck DeBroder, Chief Meteorologist
KTSM, NewsChannel 9, NBC, El Paso, TX
www.twitter.com/ Chuck DeBroder NC9 @wxchuckNC9

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