Lightning is one of nature’s most awe inspiring and dangerous phenomenon. The average lightning flash could light a 100-watt light bulb for more than 3 months! The temperature of a lightning bolt may reach 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit which is hotter than the surface of the sun!
On average, lightning kills about 73 people nationwide per year. In fact, lightning remains one of the most deadly weather phenomena in the U.S., and it can occur almost anywhere throughout the entire year. Lightning occurring during snowstorms has even killed people! Many people incur injuries or are killed due to misinformation and inappropriate behavior during thunderstorms. A few simple precautions can reduce many of the dangers posed by lightning.
via Lightning Danger.
A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, and high winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages.
Know the Difference
- Severe Thunderstorm Watch – Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. Stay informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued.
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning – Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.
Every year people are killed or seriously injured by severe thunderstorms despite advance warning. While some did not hear the warning, others heard the warning and did not pay attention to it. The information in this section, combined with timely watches and warnings about severe weather, may help save lives.
via Thunderstorm & Lightning Safety Tips | Severe Weather | Red Cross.
Thunder and lightning are very dangerous. According to the National Weather Service “if you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance and you should seek shelter immediately.”Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from the rain area in a thunderstorm. The first stroke of lightning is just as deadly as the last. If they sky looks threatening, you should take shelter even if you don’t hear thunder.Another tip from the National Weather Service is to use a “30-30 rule” where visibility is good and there is nothing obstructing your view of thunderstorms. When you see the lightning, count the time until you hear thunder. If that time is 30 seconds or less, the thunderstorm is within 6 miles of you and is dangerous. It is also recommended that you wait at least 30 minutes after a thunderstorm before returning to the outdoors, as the threat of lightning can continue long after a storm subsides.
via When is Lightning a Danger? | Farmers Almanac.