Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lightning Safety.

With the severe weather of late I thought I would make a post about lightning safety.

Here is a video I saw yesterday on someone's page. It shows a person taking a video of a thunderstorm......They are struck by lightning. in the video you can see pieces of pavement and dirt thrown into the air by the strike.

This is why I always say lightning is a greater danger around storms than tornadoes. In this case the chaser ended up OK...but the storm did damage the cars electronics.......
Because I chase Severe Weather, I've had close calls with lightning...I've had a few where all I heard was a crack or snap and then the blast of time sitting watching a storm, mine and everyone's hair stood on end...the bolt missed the car by five feet.......another time sitting on the door ( yes the window was down :) ) that time the lightning hit behind us somewhere, but it was close enough that I felt the tingle in my arms and legs.......So lightning and me do know each other.
They say you can't hear lightning, only the thunder it causes...and for the most part that is true. But I've been close to storms more than a few times.... sometimes I could hear a static like or a zipping sound, almost every time I heard that sound there was lightning running along the cloud overhead....these are called anvil crawlers...they are very beautiful but extremely dangerous....they can sometimes be hard to see in the daylight...but if you see them or hear the sounds I described, get back in your vehicle or go inside a building....anvil crawlers can become a cloud to ground strike.........

A few safety tips.
When a thunderstorm approaches, don't wait until it's overhead and starting to rain, before you seek shelter. As soon as you hear the sound of thunder, get inside a  vehicle (car or truck) with a hardtop roof, or go inside a building.
Don't take shelter under trees, trees attract lightning.
Avoid contact with electrical equipment, appliances, or power cords, if you do unplug your electronics during thunderstorms, do so well before the storm is overhead.
Most people have heard, don't wash your hands , don't take baths or showers, don't wash dishes, and stay off of corded phones during thunderstorms.  But, you also don't what to do laundry. Not only are washers and dryers in contact with wiring and plumbing, but the drier also has a direct path to the outside through the dryer vent.  
Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches. avoid gazebos, those small wooden, vinyl, or metal utility sheds....all of these offer little or no protection from lightning.
Don't lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls, they often contain metal reinforcing bars.

If you are caught outside in a storm, put your feet as close together as you can and crouch down with your head as low as possible. The only thing you what touching the ground is your feet.
I've done a few post on lightning safety.....

Here is one that deals with severe weather safety.... you can find it Here.
Here is one on how to photograph lightning can find it here.
I hope you enjoyed reading this....stay safe this Summer.........



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