Lightning Strikes: And Then You’re O U T

Thunder is nature’s warning call.  If you have ever seen the sign, “When thunder roars, go indoors!”  then you know it is true.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) believe in not taking chances when it comes to lightning.

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One of the best ways to protect yourself from lightning is to head indoors or inside a vehicle at the first sound of thunder.

If you can hear the sound of thunder, you are within striking distance.  Being indoors ensures complete safety.  If you find yourself in a position where getting indoors or inside of a vehicle is not an option, there are some precautions that might help you.

  • Avoid open fields, tall isolated trees or tall objects, and hilltops
  • Avoid staying in a large group, spread out to keep lightning current from traveling from person to person in the event someone gets struck
  • Avoid water, including pools, lakes, rivers, etc. as well as wet items as they are strong conductors of energy

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Know your weather patterns, and pay attention to storm clouds rolling in.  Lightning is powerful and deadly.  One bolt of lightning can reach over 5 miles, can contain 100 million electrical volts, and can range in temperatures of up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit!

Many find that lightning is beautiful to look at.  For example, this video by Pecos Hank from Youtube shows the beauty of lightning and its awesome power:

But let’s be clear—lightning is extremely dangerous!  Keep in mind, if someone around you gets struck by lightning, they will not carry an electrical charge and are safe to touch.  It will be urgent to get them medical care immediately.

Please be safe when it comes to the weather, especially extreme weather.  Lightning is awesome.  Lightning is also deadly.  Use good judgement and play it safe!

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