Tag Archives: lightning

  • lightning in Los Angeles

    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.

    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!

     

    -Stacey

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: storm, lightning, thunder

  • When Lightning Strikes will you be prepared?

    According to Time magazine’s online newsfeed, the US Geological Survey has  published a new map of the United States. Broken down by county, and based on data from 1995 to 2009, this map shows the relative rate of lightning strikes across the nation. As the headline suggests, “You Have the Highest Chance of Getting Struck” in the darker red areas, which appear concentrated in—but not exclusive to—the Northeast and Southwest US. Estimated averages range from 50 to 200 fatalities each year from lightning strikes, but even a non-fatal lightning strike can be traumatic and cause injuries.

    I know at this time of year, most of us are more worried about rain choking our gutters. While it’s true that summer poses a greater threat of lightning striking, any time is a good time to inform and prepare ourselves. (And if you think lightning won’t strike at the end of winter, check out this unbelievable video  from Lexington, KY, that shows 11 strikes in one minute!)

    We’ve written about lightning before, once to publicize Lightning Awareness Week  last June and a more thorough article  later that summer, with loads of links and resources. Those are great places to start—especially if you live in one of the areas highlighted in the USGS’s new map!

    Want a bit more reading? WikiHow has a great little eight step list with pictures, titled (appropriately) “How To Avoid Getting Hit By Lightning”. And ScienceDaily.com  takes a medical view of the phenomenon, offering an ER doctor’s perspective on what happens when someone is struck by lightning and what you can do to help.

    Don’t let the stormy season creep up on you. No matter how chilly or beautiful it is in your area right now, be prepared for any weather disaster!

    -Stacey

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: storms, lightning, thunderstorms