You’ve heard us talk a lot about severe weather safety this week and each year our team spends many hours talking to schools throughout our community. Over the past few weeks I spoke to several classes in the area and posed the question do all thunderstorms contain lightning? At all the locations, at-least half of the students in attendance said “no”. That is far from true since lightning creates the thunder that defines a thunderstorm.
As we enter the spring and summer seasons the frequency of thunderstorms increases. In fact, during the summer its hard not to find a pop-up thunderstorm on radar. While we spend lots of time discussing tornadoes and severe thunderstorm safety, lightning is known as the underrated killer. I always say when thunder roars you must head indoors because if you hear thunder, more than likely your are within striking distance.
One thing that makes lightning so dangerous is that you never know where it is about to strike. Tall objects are most vulnerable and if you can’t find a shelter, it is important to make yourself the tallest object. Sometimes a bolt of lightning may be difficult to see, especially when your dealing with small thunderstorms. Just think about those hot summer days when you may encounter rain mixed with a little sunshine.
I know that plenty of warm Saturday’s are coming so if you like to enjoy the lake, like me, have a plan of action if storms are in the forecast. The best advice is to head towards your starting point, whether it be a camp, home, or boat landing. A vehicle can be a safe place when it comes to lightning but make sure the windows are up. I still prefer a sturdy building if you can find one. As this awareness week comes to a close, my best advice is to always plan ahead.
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