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Spring and Summer Storms Lightning and its Dangers Prepared by Marilyn Rausch Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Spring and Summer Storms Lightning and its Dangers Prepared by Marilyn Rausch Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Spring and Summer Storms Lightning and its Dangers Prepared by Marilyn Rausch Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

3 Some Statistics  100: number of lightning strikes/second.  20 Million: Lightning strikes in USA/year.  1 Billion: number of VOLTS in a flash.  10, ,000 AMPS/flash Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

4 One stroke of lightning can light a 100 watt bulb for 3 months! Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

5 Casualties  1 casualty/ 86,000 strikes in USA.  1 death/ 345,000 flashes.  1 injury/ 114,000 flashes. THE ODDS OF BEING STRUCK BY LIGHTNING ARE 1:280,000 Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

6 “How likely am I to be struck by lightning? The odds of being struck vary from person to person, and are determined by multiple factors. The most significant are: 1.Geographical location and climate. 2.Daily and yearly climatology. 3.PERSONAL LIFESTYLE AND HOBBIES Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

7 OPPOSITES ATTRACT When a thunderstorm builds, negative electrical charges develop within clouds. There are positively charged particles on the ground. The attraction between the positive charges and the negative charges overcomes the resistance of the air between them. Lightning occurs when the charges rush to meet each other. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

8 LIGHTNING CAUSES THUNDER When lightning occurs, the electrical bolt heats the air around it to about 50,000 degrees! The air rapidly expands then contracts, causing the molecules to smash into each other. These high-energy collisions create the sound that we call thunder. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

9 Where does lightning go? Cloud to ground. One cloud to another Ground to cloud Cloud to surrounding air Cloud to air lightning can lash out more than ten miles, giving the impression that lightning is striking out of a clear blue sky! Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

10 ATTENTION SNOWBIRDS Florida gets more lightning strikes than any other state in the U.S., and has twice as many casualties as does any other state. Central Florida gets the bulk of the state’s strikes Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

11 A BOLT of lightning is called a “STROKE.” One bolt carries about 200 million volts of electricity. One bolt can kill a person instantly. Men are struck about four times more often than women Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

12 DISTANCE MATTERS The bolt in the foreground is about a mile from the photographer. Light travels faster than sound, and sound travels about one mile in five seconds. If you can count to five between the time of the flash and the sound of the thunder, the lightning is about a mile from you. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

13 IF A STORM IS LESS THAN THREE MILES AWAY, YOU SHOULD FIND SHELTER, AS THE NEXT STRIKE IS PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF HITTING YOU! Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

14 HEAT OR SHEET LIGHTNING Lightning that illuminates entire clouds. SHEET lightning is close enough for the observer to be heard. HEAT lightning is witnessed at such a distance that it seems silent. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

15 Among recent discoveries are flashes that occur in the high altitudes above thunderstorms. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

16 The vertical bolt in the upper right portion of this photo is a newly-discovered flash know by such names as “blue jets,” “red sprites,” and “green elves.” They are distinct forms of lightning that shoot from the tops of thunderstorms. Researchers are trying to unravel these and other mysteries of the dangerous world of lightning Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

17 Photographers use time-lapse procedures to capture images like these. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

18 Now that we know of the beauty of lightning, it is time to discuss the dangers, safety and protection. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

19 OUT-OF-DOORS IS THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE TO BE DURING A LIGHTNING STORM. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

20 OUT-OF-DOORS IS THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE TO BE DURING A LIGHTNING STORM Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

21 Out-of-doors is the most dangerous place to be during a lightning storm. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

22 Some places are more dangerous than others Near water (boating, fishing, beach) Near trees (golfing, picnicking, camping) On high places (Construction) Other open areas (fields, hiking trails) Near vehicles or planes (police, airport baggage handlers, heavy equipment operators. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

23 Significantly dangerous situations WHEREVER PEOPLE CONGREGATE Sporting Events Concerts Groups on bleachers, at recess, in huddles People in close proximity with each other People walking in groups Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

24 Camping is particularly dangerous in a lightning storm The lightning season corresponds to the camping season. Some of the most dangerous areas are under trees, in open fields, under open awnings, near vehicles such as campers, bicycles, motorbikes. Most dangerous activities are on beaches, in boats, using tennis rackets, golf clubs, fishing rods. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

25 myths Lightning never strikes twice. Rubber tires will insulate from lightning. Lightning strikes can be prevented. First Strikes can be predicted. New, high-tech lightning rods can control lightning. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

26 SAFETY RULES IF YOU ARE CAUGHT OUTSIDE Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

27 Go quickly inside a completely enclosed building. NOT IN A CARPORT NOT IN AN OPEN GARAGE NOT UNDER AN AWNING NOT BY AN OPEN WINDOW Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

28 If no enclosed building is convenient GET INSIDE A HARD-TOPPED ALL-METAL VEHICLE. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

29 CLOSE ALL WINDOWS DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING METAL INSIDE THE VEHICLE Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

30 Your RV or Camper is not safe in lightning storms! Rubber tires do not render a vehicle safe. Nonmetal or open-roofed structures do not protect from lightning. Awnings and Umbrellas are dangerous places to wait out a storm. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

31 DO NOT TAKE SHELTER UNDER A TREE!!!! Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

32 If there is no available shelter Avoid being the tallest object in the area. Crouch on the balls of your feet in the open, keeping twice away from a tree as it is tall. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

33 If there is no available shelter DO NOT LAY FLAT ON THE GROUND… HAVE AS LITTLE CONTACT WITH THE GROUND AS POSSIBLE! Seek depressed areas, not hilltops or high places Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

34 AVOID LEANING AGAINST VEHICLES GET OFF OF AND AWAY FROM BICYCLES AND MOTORCYCLES. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

35 STAY AWAY FROM WATER Avoid the beach and small boats and canoes. If caught in a boat, crouch down in the center of the boat, away from metal hardware. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

36 STAY AWAY FROM WATER Avoid standing in puddles of water Even when wearing rubber boots. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

37 In addition to open spaces AVOID WIRE FENCES METAL CLOTHES LINES EXPOSED SHEDS ELECTRICALLY CONDUCTIVE ELEVATED OBJECTS ( FLAGPOLES, ETC.) Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

38 IN STORMS, DO NOT USE METAL OBJECTS… GOLF CLUBS FISHING RODS TENNIS RACKETS TOOLS Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

39 DURING STORMS, DO NOT WORK ON FENCES TELEPHONE OR POWER LINES PIPELINES STEEL FABRICATIONS Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

40 DURING STORMS, DO NOT WORK ON TRACTOR WORK, HEAVY CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT DO NOT TOUCH OR SIT ON EQUIPMENT DO NOT SEEK SHELTER UNDER THE EQUIPMENT. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

41 PARTICULARLY WHEN CAMPING IN A STORM AVOID CONGREGATING IN GROUPS. DO NOT HOLD HANDS WITH OTHERS. DO NOT SEEK SHELTER UNDER AN AWNING. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

42 OUT-OF-DOORS IS THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE TO BE DURING A LIGHTNING STORM Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

43 What about indoor safety? Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

44 What makes a structure safe? OUTSIDE THE STRUCTURE –Outer shell –Metal gutters and downspouts INSIDE THE STRUCTURE –Electrical wiring –Phone lines –Plumbing GROUNDING Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

45 Unless specifically designed to be lightning safe,small structures do little, if anything, to protect from lightning. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

46 A shelter that does not contain plumbing or wiring or other grounding mechanism is not safe in a lightning storm. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

47 Most shelters are designed to protect from sun and rain… Athletic fields Golf Courses Parks Picnic areas Schoolyards Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

48 Small unprotected buildings, barns, sheds, tents and shelters are not lightening safe. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

49 LIGHTNING ENTERS BUILDINGS IN THREE WAYS DIRECT STRIKES WIRES AND PIPES THROUGH THE GROUND Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

50 INSIDE A BUILDING, LIGHTNING TRAVELS ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS TELEPHONE LINES PLUMBING RADIO/TELEPHONE RECEPTION SYSTEMS METAL WIRES OR BARS IN CONCRETE WALLS OR FLOORING Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

51 Corded Phone use is the leading cause of indoor lightning injuries in the United States. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

52 Stay away from windows and doors, as these can provide the path for a direct lightning strike. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

53 Do not lie on the concrete floor of a garage or lean against concrete walls. These contain wire mesh or metal reinforcing rods that can carry the current. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

54 Avoid washers and dryers They have contacts with the plumbing and electrical systems, and also an electrical path to the outside through the dryer vent! Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

55 Consider your Pets! Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

56 Consider your Pets! Doghouses are not lightning safe. Dogs chained to trees or wire runners can easily fall victim to a lightning strike. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

57 Lightning can cause significant property damage Direct strikes. Electrical surges from distant strikes. Effect on electrical and reception systems. Unplug before the storm hits! Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

58 SUMMARY OF INDOOR LIGHTNING SAFETY TIPS Avoid contact with corded phones Avoid Contact with electrical equipment or cords. Avoid contact with plumbing. –Do not wash your hands, take a shower, wash dishes or do laundry. Stay away from windows and doors. Stay off porches. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

59 The Rule If the time between lightning and thunder is 30 seconds or less, go to a safer location. If the lightning can’t be seen, just hearing thunder means you should go to a safer location. Wait at least 30 minutes after hearing the last thunder before leaving the safer location. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

60 Treat lightning like a snake If you see it or hear it Take evasive Measures. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

61 Lightning If you can hear it, clear it. If you can see it, flee it. Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006

62 The End Indiana FCRV DAT Program 2006


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