Thursday, September 27, 2012

Video evidence that lightning safety tips work!

As we near secondary severe weather season in the south (November-early January), I ran across the following videos that prove lightning safety tips DO work and should be heeded as thunderstorms (not necessarily even severe storms) approach.

The first proves that the Faraday Cage that is a vehicle is a safe place to shelter during storms (caveat: cars are not the safest places to be during high wind or possible tornadoes).  Check out the SUV struck by lightning and the results!

On the flip side, if you don't seek appropriate shelter as thunderstorms near, this could be the tragic result:

The NWS mantra regarding lightning safety is "when thunder roars, go indoors!"  It was proven again earlier this summer at a NASCAR event in Pocono, PA when a fan was killed after being struck by lightning, while he was standing next to his car!  His safe place was literally right next to him.  This is simply inexcusable!

Know and practice these tips:
  • If you can hear the thunder, you're close enough to get struck by lightning, which can reach out 10 miles from a thunderstorm
  • If lightning is a threat, get in a vehicle or fully-enclosed building with wiring or plumbing
  • Avoid water sources and electronic equipment that is plugged into an outlet while in shelter
Sound travels about 1 mile in 5 seconds, so to determine your distance from a lightning strike, count the seconds between the lightning and thunder and divide by 5. (2 miles = 10 seconds)

Learn more about lightning safety on this NWS website (or  You can also read a series of myths/truths related to lightning here (

Thanks to the folks at Watts Up With That for posting the "Lightning vs. SUV" video on their site.

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