Lightning facts and safety tips
- Lightning typically heats the air immediately around it to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That's five times hotter than the surface of the sun!
- Houston is the lightning capital of Texas. Every square mile of the city averages roughly 10-20 lightning strikes per year.
- Lightning related fatalities are the second highest of any severe weather related hazard.
- Almost 3/4 of all lightning fatalities occur in the summer months.
- Males account for 84% of all lightning related deaths.
- Click here to see a map of average annual lightning strikes across southeast Texas, and click here to see a map of lightning across the U.S.
Even if you're indoors, you are not entirely safe from lightning. Avoid doors, windows, water, and electrical equipment, and make sure you don't use a land line telephone until the storm has passed.
Keep you and your family safe from lightning by following the "30/30 Rule." Here's how it works: As soon as you see a lightning strike, start counting to 30 seconds. If you hear the clap of thunder before you reach 30, the lightning is within striking distance and you need to gather the family and head inside. The quicker you hear the thunder, the closer you are to the lightning. If you can't get into a building, get inside your car. The coast is clear to head back outside 30 minutes after you see the last flash of lightning, even if you don't hear the thunder.
The severe thunderstorm complexes that roll through during the spring months are often characterized by powerful lightning strikes that occur after the heavy rain and high winds have already passed. In fact, it doesn't even have to be raining for lightning to strike the ground! It might be tempting to head back outside to run an errand or finish up that last hole of golf, but by staying patient and completely waiting out the storm, you'll be sure to keep you and your family out of harm's way. ch you can do to protect your roof and plants from hail, but if given enough advanced notice, you can always park your car in the garage before the storm arrives.
(Copyright © 2007, KTRK-TV)Related Links:
- Flooding Facts and Safety Tips
- Lightning Facts and Safety Tips
- Hail Facts and Safety Tips
- Tornado Facts and Safety Tips
- Severe Wind Facts and Safety Tips
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