Presentation on theme: "National Weather Service NOAA National Weather Service NOAA Dr. Lightning’s Guide To Lightning and Thunder Dr. Lightning’s Guide To Lightning and Thunder."— Presentation transcript:
National Weather Service NOAA National Weather Service NOAA Dr. Lightning’s Guide To Lightning and Thunder Dr. Lightning’s Guide To Lightning and Thunder
Lightning Safety Written, illustrated, and animated by John Jensenius aka: Dr. Lightning
Thunderstorms Most thunderstorms develop in the summer during the afternoon and evening. However, thunderstorms can develop during any season and at any time of the day. Be aware that darkening skies could be a sign that a thunderstorm is approaching or even developing overhead. Keep in mind that the first lightning strike from a storm is just as deadly as any other strike.
A Common Mistake The key to being safe is to avoid the lightning threat. While everyone is aware that lightning is dangerous, many people wait far too long to seek safety. They put themselves in a dangerous and potentially deadly situation.
Safety Information Rule #1 - Plan ahead so you don’t get caught outside in a thunderstorm. Listen to the forecast. Rule #2 - If you hear thunder, get inside a substantial building or hard-topped metal vehicle immediately. Rule #3 - Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning or thunder before going back outside. “There is no safe place outside when a thunderstorm is in the area.” Always Remember
Be Aware Under good listening conditions, you can hear thunder for a distance of about 10 miles, which is the distance that lightning can strike outward from a thunderstorm. Any noises around you, like traffic or the surf at the beach, can limit your ability to hear thunder. If you do hear thunder, you’re likely within striking distance of the storm and need to get to a safe place immediately.
Thunderstorms can develop rapidly in mountainous terrain, even if the skies start out clear and sunny. In addition, nearby mountains may limit your ability to see developing or approaching thunderstorms. Be Aware
Never wait for imminent signs of a lightning strike. If your hair stands on end or you feel a tingling sensation, there may not be anything you can do to prevent a fatal lightning strike. If this happens to you, run as fast as you can to a safe place. Don’t Let This Happen To You
Your Plan Should Answer The Questions 1. Where will you go for safety? 2. When will you go? 3. How long will it take you to get there? 4. How long will you stay there? 5. Who will monitor the weather? Have A Lightning Safety Plan Have A Lightning Safety Plan Whether you’re outside with a group or outside alone, you should always have a plan to get to safety if a thunderstorm develops. It’s also important to listen and watch for any signs of a developing or approaching thunderstorm.
Organized Activities Outdoor recreational organizations and facilities should have plans to keep people safe when thunderstorms threaten. Participants, officials, and spectators should all be aware of the safety guidelines and policies.
Sports Activities Sports activities should be stopped immediately if the sky looks threatening, if nearby lightning is observed, or if ANY thunder is heard. A rumble of thunder should be viewed as a warning that the storm is close enough to strike at any moment.
Sports Activities It’s very important for outdoor sports organizations to have policies that keep people safe when thunderstorms threaten. Participants and spectators should all be made aware of why these policies are needed. If you’re a coach: Make sure all officials, parents, and participants understand the lightning safety policy. Follow the policy for all practices and games, without exception. If you’re an official: Make sure the coaches and teams understand the lightning policy and your intentions to follow the policy, without exception. If you’re a parent: Before the season begins, make sure there is a lightning safety policy. During the season, make sure the coaches and officials follow the policy. Don’t be afraid to speak out.
Safe Shelters Your home provides good protection from lightning. Unfortunately, every year, people are struck in their own yards. At the first signs of a thunderstorm, get inside.
Safe Shelters Schools and other substantial buildings also provide safety during thunderstorms. For a building to be safe, it should have wiring and/or plumbing throughout.
NOT Safe Unless built to be a lightning shelter, small outdoor buildings are not safe. Unsafe buildings include pavilions, picnic shelters, rain shelters, dugouts, and sheds.
Safe Shelters A car, bus, or van with a metal roof also provides good protection from lightning. Roll up the windows and keep your arms, hands, and legs inside the vehicle. The rubber tires do not prevent a lightning strike.
Lightning and Cars Cars and other vehicles are struck every year. The lightning may melt an antenna, shatter a window, damage the electronics, and blow out the tires. But, fortunately, the outer metal shell of the vehicle protects the people inside.
Safety Inside While a house, school, or large building can provide good protection during a thunderstorm, there are hidden dangers inside. Anything that is plugged into a wall outlet can become electrified by a lightning strike. Stay off corded phones; avoid contact with the plumbing, including sinks and tubs; and stay away from windows and doors.
Anything that is plugged into a wall outlet can become electrified by a nearby lightning strike. Avoid contact with electrical equipment and appliances and stay off corded phones. Cordless electronics, cordless phones, and cell phones are safe to use during a thunderstorm if you’re in a safe place. Things To Avoid
In addition to the wiring, if lightning strikes your home, the plumbing could also become electrified. While inside, avoid contact with sinks, faucets, tubs and showers. Also stay away from windows and doors which have a direct connection to the outside. Things To Avoid
If you are caught outside and can’t get to a safe place, there may be very little you can do to reduce the risk of being struck by lightning. However, there are things you should avoid so that you don’t increase your chances of being struck. In particular, avoid open areas and stay away from tall or isolated trees. Also, avoid contact with wires or metal fences that can conduct lightning for long distances. Things to Avoid
Factors That Affect Your Chances Of Being Struck By Lightning There are two factors that determine the chances that you might be struck by lightning. 1. The amount of lightning 2. Your behavior when thunderstorms are in the area While you can’t control the amount of lightning, you can control your behavior.
The Threat Of Lightning Casualties The Threat Of Lightning Casualties The lightning risk starts to increase when thunderstorms are about 10 miles away and peaks when they are overhead. People’s exposure to that risk determines their chances of being struck by lightning.
Reducing Lightning Casualties To reduce the chances of being struck by lightning, get inside well before the storm arrives and remain inside for 30 minutes after the last lightning or thunder. While inside, stay away from anything that could conduct the lightning current to you.
Lightning causes about 25,000 fires each year including more than 4000 house fires. If your house is struck by lightning, call your local fire department and, if possible, have them check for hot spots in the walls with thermal imaging equipment. If you see fire or smell smoke, evacuate your house immediately and call 911. Protecting Your Home - Lightning Fires - Protecting Your Home - Lightning Fires -
Protecting Your Home - Lightning Rods - Protecting Your Home - Lightning Rods - Lightning rods are designed to protect a building from a direct lightning strike. They do not prevent lightning from striking the structure, but rather attempt to intercept the lightning strike and provide a conductive path for the lightning to follow. Lightning rods need to be connected to a large copper or aluminum cable which, in turn, needs to be connected to the ground terminals.
Protecting Your Home - Electrical Surges - Protecting Your Home - Electrical Surges - Lightning can also enter your home through wires, cables, and pipes. Surge arrestors and suppressors can help prevent lightning from entering via phone and electrical wires. In the picture above, lightning struck a tree and then followed an underground phone cable into two homes, damaging both.
Please Remember There is No Safe Place Outside when thunderstorms are in the area.
NOAA Wants You To Have A Safe And Enjoyable Summer If you have any comments or suggestions, please email:Dr.Lightning@noaa.gov