From the ABC 7 Weather team

Lightning: Awareness and Safety

July 28, 2012 - 03:00 PM
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With so many people outside in the summer months, it's important to reiterate the importance of lightning safety. 

You've heard it before - "When thunder roars, head indoors".  It seems simple, but unfortunately, some people take too long to get into a safe space when thunderstorms approach.

NOAA

Lightning, although neat to look at in photographs, is extremely dangerous.  To learn more on the science behind lightning, here's a great link to check out.  Sadly, lightning has already caused 17 deaths in 2012 in 13 states.  With the recent high heat and humidity, the middle and Eastern U.S. has seen numerous severe weather outbreaks.  Often, a lot of lightning is associated with these summer storms.  Not only does lightning occur in the summer, but can happen in every month and in every state.  Here's a map of lightning deaths by state.  Florida has the highest lightning fatalities.

NOAA

Lightning fatalities can be avoided if people follow this motto - "When thunder roars, head indoors".  It's especially important to remember in the summer months when people are outside enjoying the warm days.  Even if it isn't raining and doesn't appear there's a storm where you are, still go inside!  If you're close enough to hear the thunder, you're close enough to get struck by lightning.

If you're interested in other lightning phenomena, check out NC8 meteorologist Devon Lucie's blog on Ball Lightning.  Be safe!

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