As the temperatures warm, two things are likely to happen. More people will be heading outside, and the chances for seeing thunderstorm activity greatly increases. Combining the two without taking the proper precautions, can be downright DEADLY!
Bolts From the Blue
Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from a thunderstorm. In fact, most people are struck as the storm approaches and departs their area. Lightning can even strike with blue skies overhead. We call this strike, a “bolt from the blue”.
If you happen to be caught outside at a park with storms heading your way, some peoples first inclination maybe to head for the trees. That could be a costly mistake! Lightning tends to strike tallest object nearby. In a park, this would likely be a tree. In an open field, you would likely be the target!
Seeking Shelter During a Thunderstorm
The best place to seek shelter during a thunderstorm is an enclosed building with plumbing and/or electricity. This is because the plumbing or electricity allows the lightning strike to be dispersed into the ground.
The next best place to seek shelter would your vehicle. Make sure windows are up and you DO NOT touch any metal for the duration of the thunderstorm. Your car protects you by creating a faraday cage around you. This allows the current of the lightning to be directed around you and into the ground. Your tires actually are not what protects you.
Stay tuned for more important severe weather awareness topics this week. The time to prepare is now, and can sometimes mean the difference between life and death!