LIGHTNING SAFETY. Lightning -- Significant Hazard. LIGHTNING: The Underrated Weather Hazard! 2nd Leading Cause Of Storm Deaths In U.S. (~ 60 / Year) More Than Tornadoes! More Than Hurricanes!. Top States For Lightning Deaths And Casualties. LIGHTNING DEATHS 1. FL
Lightning -- Significant Hazard
Top States For Lightning Deaths And Casualties
8. CO (#3 1990-2003)
1959-2003(Holle Meteorology & Photography, Holle)
Lightning -- Significant Hazard
Note the position of TEXAS on each list!
When Thunderstorms Nearby, Avoid These Activities Like Your Life Depends On It -- It Does!
Farm & HeavyEquipment(5%)
Open Areas andHigh Places(Includes Sports Fieldsand Golfing (6% of total))(51%)
Lightning CasualtiesIn U.S. (1959-1994)(National Severe Storms Lab)
During the past 30 years, lightning killed an average of 58 people per year in the United States based on documented cases. That's more than the annual number of people killed by hurricanes and about the same as those killed by tornadoes. Many more are struck but survive. While documented lightning injuries in the United States average about 400 per year, undocumented injuries caused by lightning are likely much higher.
What is Lightning?
The action of rising and descending air within a thunderstorm separates positive and negative charges. Lightning results from the buildup and discharge of electrical energy between positively and negatively charged areas. Lightning can travel many ways: cloud-to-ground, ground to cloud, and cloud to cloud. In most strikes, the ground is positively charged.
Each spark of lightning can reach over five miles in length, soar to temperatures of approximately 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit ( up to 4 times hotter than the surface of the sun), and contain between100 million and one billion electrical volts.
Artificial lightning and thunder can be created in a indoor labs using Tesla coils. Many science museums offer demonstrations of this phenomena.
Where does lightning strike?
Earth must obtain a charge before it can be the circuit connector for the process of lightning. This happens when a cloud above Earth's surface passes over and alters the charge of the ground. Earth generally acquires a positive charge from the passing cloud(s) and can then close the circuit; lightning begins to strike invisibly through the sky, from the cloud to the ground, completing the circuit. The visible portion of the strike then travels from ground to cloud.
If you are caught outdoors…
All metal objects
If in the open with lightning striking around you:
Crouch down and cover your ears. (don’t lay down)
Avoid proximity (approx. 15 feet) to other people.
Unsafe Places include:
Small picnic or rain shelters
Under or around trees
IF AT ALL POSSIBLE SEEK SHELTER INDOORS IMMEDIATELY!
…AND SUSPEND OUTDOOR ACTIVITY FOR 30 MINUTES AFTER YOU HEAR THE LAST OF THE THUNDER
If you are indoors…
Avoid water and plumbing; pipes are great electrical conductors.
Stay away from doors and windows.
Do not use any telephone.
Take off head sets.
Turn off, unplug, and stay away from appliances, computers, power tools, & TV sets.
Lightning may strike exterior electric and phone lines, inducing shocks to inside equipment.
Surge protectors offer no protection from lightning!
Note: Injured persons do not carry an electric charge
and can be safely treated!
When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!
Half An Hour Since Thunder Roars,
Now It’s Safe To Go Outdoors!