August 8, 2014
In a rare display of wild summer weather, Southern California saw one death and a dozen injuries from lightning at the end of July. While summer is prime time for thunder and lightning storms (read why here) in some parts of the country, it’s a less common phenomenon on the West Coast.
Which just goes to show the urgency of preparedness. If disasters were completely predictable, they wouldn’t be disasters, I suppose.
Fox News describes the “monsoon moisture,” warm and humid, which led to countless reports of lightning and thunder around the Los Angeles region, as well as flooding on Catalina Island. The fatality took place on the popular Venice Beach, where people surfed, swam, and played volleyball as thunderclouds gathered overhead.
The Red Cross reminds us that we should head inside at the first sound of thunder and that water is particularly dangerous in a thunderstorm. In fact, the list of tips they posted for this year’s Lightning Safety Awareness Week advises we stay safely indoors for at least 30 minutes after the last audible thunder clap. The Red Cross, NOAA, and AccuWeather.com all have great articles and tip lists for lightning safety. And if you want a little more reading, here are some of our recent articles on the deadly beauty.
- “Lightning Safety Awareness Week”
- “Lightning: The Strikingly Beautiful Danger”
- “When Lightning Strikes”
I know it’s summer, and we all want to be outside, just remember to keep an eye on the skies. Better a ruined picnic than a trip to the ER!