All thunderstorms contain lightning, and although not considered a requirement for a severe thunderstorm, it is very dangerous. Day 2 of Severe Weather Awareness week is for nature's underrated killer.
So what is lightning? Lightning is the result of the buildup and discharge of electrical energy. The air around a bolt of lightning is heated to 50,000º F. This rapid heating causes rapid expansion of the air, which then causes thunder.
In the last 30 years, lightning has an average of 55 people per year in the United States. That's a higher death rate than hurricanes!
Remember the 30-30 Rule:
The first “30” represents 30 seconds. If the time between when you see the flash and hear the thunder is 30 seconds or less, the lightning is close enough to hit you. If you haven’t already, seek shelter immediately.
The second “30” stands for 30 minutes. After the last flash of lightning, wait 30 minutes before leaving your shelter. More than one half of lightning deaths occur after a thunderstorm has passed.
You can tell how close you are to a lightning strike by counting the seconds between seeing the flash and hearing the thunder. For every five seconds you count, the lightning is one mile away. If you see a flash and instantly hear the thunder, the lightning strike is very close.Stay Indoors::
You should take shelter in a sturdy, enclosed building. Sheds, dugouts, tents and gazebos are not safe. Avoid open spaces, isolated objects, and high ground. Avoid metallic objects such as fences, pipes, power poles, and bikes. Take cover in a hard top automobile, keeping windows up and doors closed. Get out of boats and away from bodies of water. Once indoors, stay away from windows, doors, and off porches. Avoid contact with any plumbing and electrical items, including TVs and computers. Do not use corded phones, except for emergencies. Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls. Remember to bring pets indoors.
WAFF48 Storm Team
We Track Storms