Summer is the peak season for lightning. Even though lightning typically does not result in mass destruction like other storm-related concerns, lightning can be just as dangerous. This week is National Lightning Safety Awareness Week. Use this week to learn more about lightning and how to protect yourself.
Lightning strikes the earth more than 8 million times per day. Each year in the United States, about 300 people are struck by lightning. Of those struck, about 30 people are killed and others suffer lifelong disabilities. The bolts of lightning are hotter than the surface of the sun and can reach temperatures around 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Common unknown facts about lightning:
- All thunderstorms produce lightning. Lightning often strikes outside the area of heavy rain and may strike as far as 10 miles from any rainfall.
- If you can hear thunder, you are in danger. Even if the sky is blue, protect yourself from a potential lightning threat.
- Lightning travels through wiring and plumbing. Do not use a corded phone or take a bath/shower during a storm.
Follow these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to learn more about how to stay safe indoors and outdoors when lightning occurs. Download the National Weather Service Lightning Safety brochure for you and your family.